And finally, with some delay, a very Happy New Year to everybody who comes to visit my blog!
It has been a very busy couple of weeks, with lots to do at work, plus internet troubles on my computer, and also looking for and buying my first ever flat (stressful!), so I only managed to post a post about the new Macon soul book that I had already prepared before the holidays. By the time everything was back to some normality yesterday, there seemed little to add in way of a tribute to Mr Brown that had not been much better said by others, and New Year had come and gone, for which I was trying to prepare a little quiz or something, and a tribute to those great people we said goodbye to last year. Fortunately, many others provided these tributes, including JB tributes by Larry Grogan at Funky 16 Corners, Jason Stone at The Stepfather of Soul, and Red Kelly at The B Side, who participated in and reported to us all on the viewing of James Brown at rest at the Apollo Theater, and who remembered many others on the last post of 2006.
I spent New Year's Eve with my brother and his partner, and my nephew, Rhys, before settling down, like countless others, to watch Jools Holland's Hootenany. This allowed me the treat of seeing the great Sam Moore singing I Thank You and Soul Man, and later on Hold On! I'm Coming. I saw him earlier in the year on the MOBO Awards, and he epitomises what I see as the true characteristics of a soul man: the experience of singing live, working at the craft for a living, something quite independent of the producers and stylists that dominate most modern musical stars, where the emphasis is on trying to reproduce the recorded, lip-synched and produced product.
Sam Moore at New Year 2007!
More treats were in store! The wonderful Amy Winehouse, so astounding she can even get the die-hards of the Soul Source forum trading in their 45s to buy her CDs! She sang I Heard It Through The Grapevine and it wasn't half-bad, as I hope you'll agree. I get the impression that Amy sings songs because she has to sing for her own sake. Amy can sing with the sense of real conviction, despite her tender years, and her own songs tackle human dilemmas in a way that rises above the 'girl-power' platitudes of most other current female icons, and are damn good music. Although I must grumble at the incongruous inclusion of grumpy Paul Weller, who could have picked a better time to try out his new 'grand old man of the blues' persona. OK, he did good for a mod revivalist!
Amy Winehouse 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine'
At one point in the evening, comedian Adrian Edmundson did a jazz rendition of Anarchy in the UK, and left Sam Moore and band in stitches when he atttempted a bebop trumpet solo with so much gusto you almost thought he would pull it off. For the finale they were all back to sing a rendition of The Mighty Quinn, which is how the show usually ends.
Family, a few beers, and Jools Holland on the telly. Can't beat it! Next year I will of course be reporting live from P Diddy's party mansion...
Links on YouTube by curtisandhooky.