About this Playlist
My first few years using streaming service were looking back into all the music I’d missed from the 60’s though to the 80’s, then 90’s up to current day, but not seriously focusing on the present and then in 2019 I decided to search out more new music, the start of this playlist features a selection of tracks from that year and some favourites from previous year when I discovered the exhaustive soul and funk discography on Spotify.
From the first of many special albums released in 2019 ‘Take What’s Mine’ by Dojo Cuts from the LP ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Come’ easily my most played song of the year, slow but funky drums, guitar lick and piano and sultry soulful deep vocals, also hitting the right note on the LP ‘This Life’ and ‘Rome’.
Maybe my favourite vocalist of the last decade Lady Wray coming strong with two singles ‘Come on In’ and ‘Piece of Me’ also a feature on a quite breathtaking slice of retro soul from Synthia ‘Tonight you Might’
Carlton Jumel Smith and his album ‘634 Lexington Avenue’ takes that retro soul sound to another level and gives us 10 songs that could have been made in the 60’s so authentic is the sound, ‘Woman You Made Me’ is as good as anything made in the era of soul classics, also ‘You Gonna Need Me’ and ‘I’d Better’ stand out and are sure to become the classics of the decade.
Black Pumas first LP is some accomplishment, mixing soul, funk and blues, guitar based and drove forward by a voice that sounds like its been crying out blues since the 50’s, truly wonderful album, check out ‘Colors’ ‘Know You Better’ and ‘Stay Gold’ for just a taster in what is real no filler album.
Just as well I’m not writing an album of the year post as they just kept coming right from the start of the year, Kelly Finnigan ‘The Tales People Tell’ back in April started a wave of soulful long players that barely stopped all year ‘I Don’t want to Wait’ ‘Since I Don’t Have You Anymore’ and ‘Smoking and Drinking’ perfectly crafted songs from a really talented individual.
A couple of tracks from Michael Kiwanuka latest LP, I could have added every track to the playlist, it’s that good and also enjoyed Terry Datsun version of Kiwanuka’s song ‘Love and Hate’ from 2016.
I love all kinds of soulful music not just the retro sound and there wasn’t many better than ‘All Runs Out’ from Alice Smith, also ‘Mystery’ the lead song from associated LP.
PP. Arnold a voice from soul music’s past, shows that you’re never too old for a comeback with a new LP, full of sublime creative soulful sounds none better than ‘Hold onto Your Dreams’.
Not seen an album from Hannah Williams’ since 2016 but she’s back with the funkiest band in the business ‘The Affirmations. ‘50 ft Woman’ is a stellar workout of funky beats and soulful songs, stand out tracks ‘Worrying Mind’ and ‘How Long?’.
Boca 45 brought us beats, breaks and some top class rhymes with his self titled LP ‘Forty Five’ and also dropped some ‘Soul on Top’ with singer Louis Baker, more soulful vibes with ‘Move A Mountain’ so much more to the album, really worth checking it out.
Next a song from one of the first artists I featured on the shake a hoof playlist back in 2018 Daytoner with some five star funk ‘My Sweet Baby’, it came out in July and received much praise as it was sung live by the band across the festival circuit all summer long, I’ve been waiting since then to feature it on the playlist, so thankful it made it to Spotify in time for this review.
Something a little different from El-Jay Burner soulful reggae vibes brought to you from Fabyl Recordings, the same label that gave us the Terry Datsun track and the best Hip Hop LP of the year from Bronx Slang.
Tanika Charles dropped ‘The Gumption’ back in May, if I’m honest it was slept on by me as I didn’t come across it until the late summer but hammered it ever since, superb LP, ‘Tell me Something’ and ‘First and Last’ just two tracks of many exceptional funk soaked retro soul.
One of the last big releases of the year was the return of The Mighty Mocambos featuring the vocals of a hoof favourite and previous featured artist Gizelle Smith aided by rapper JSWISS on ‘Stronger’ one of the contenders for a very competitive song of the year accolade, ‘Take on the World’ also could take down all new challengers.
Soul partnership from heaven next UK legend Omar and Erykah Badu with a piece of classic soul ‘Be Thankful’… we are, it’s a top class version.
We’ve even got a place for soul royalty with two songs from Marvin Gaye from his ‘You’re The Man’ album, what a surprise that was when it appeared in March 2019, originally intended for release in 1972.
Laville the lastest artist on Acid Jazz records, gave is a wonderful cover of Bobby Caldwell’s ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’ and his own song ‘Giants’ on a tasty LP ‘The Wanderer’.
A selection of other notable album releases, all featuring a few songs on the playlist, from Quantic with the genre bending ‘Atlantic Oscillations’ to the Jazz/Soul of Da Lata’s ‘Birds’ to the pure raw soul of Lee Fields and the Expressions ‘It Rains Love’ and Durand Jones and the Indications ‘American Love Call’.
Special mention for an album that I have seen is many peoples best of the year Neal Francis ‘Changes’ and one of my favourites (yes there’s been a lot of them) New Mastersounds ‘Shake It’ full of inventive soulful and funky sounds with one foot in the past for inspiration but fully committed to moving the sound of soul and funk forward.
2019 also brought us lots of soulful sounds more associated with dance music from probably one of the biggest club records of the year by The Vision ‘Heaven’ and many of the great Disco inspired records from Glitterbox, a trend of the year was the use of Gospel in dance which gave us a pair of big tunes by Alan Dixon ‘Bless Me Today’ & ‘Rise and Shine’ and Sophie Lloyd ‘Raise Me Up’.
So enjoy the Hoof’s soulful digging of 2019 and 2018 then see what he what music he discovered in 2020 here