First post of 2019 and I wanted to start the year off with a classic feel good record. “Never Stop” by the Brand New Heavies is a groovy track released in 1991. And when I say groovy, there isn’t a better word to describe the rhythm section of this track. I couldn’t put my finger on why I’ve always been drawn to this song until the last several years; and then it came to me …the Motown Sound!
Because I grew up on Motown music, I’ve always had a fascination of the musicianship of “The Funk Brothers” (please google if you don’t know who they are) but just in case you don’t get around to it. LOL! “The Funk Brothers” were the group of Detroit-based session musicians who performed the backing to most Motown recordings from 1959 until 1972; considered the most successful groups of studio musicians in music history! And this is not up for debate! Consisting of 13 members, these musicians single handed changed the sound of American music!
If you listen to this track closely, the instrumentation is very similar of the Motown sound. The familiarity of the late Benny “Papa Zita” Benjamin’s signature drumming, Robert White’s influential guitar section or the legendary James Jamerson bass grooves, it’s all there! And I couldn’t be more pleased by the arrangement of this track, The Brand New Heavies created a vibe that is reminiscent of the sixties, but at the same time has that classic 90’s backbeat that makes it fit into any playlist new or old. And lead singer N’Dea Davenport’s melodic voice compliments this groove perfectly, just as those classic songstresses did in the sixties. Her sultry sound is comparable to the greats like, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Martha Reeves, and Tammi Terrell. And that is why this track resonates with me and I know it will with you too!
The Brand New Heavies are an acid jazz and funk group formed in 1985 in Ealing in west London. Centered around songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy, the core members of the group since its founding, Brand New Heavies are best known for a string of successful singles in the early 1990s featuring N’Dea Davenport as lead vocalist.
The Brand New Heavies being an instrumental acid jazz band, this track has the influential elements of that classic Motown sound! If you love Motown music or just love the sound of the sixties, I think you can relate to this track. Just give it a listen!
You can learn more about The Brand New Heavies here:
About The Curator - Lyris Greene
Lyris Greene is a disk jockey (dj) hailing from Nashville, TN, now residing in Atlanta, Ga. Lyris’s name is derived from the word “lyric”, meaning words of a song. Lyris gravitated to music immediately as a child, influenced by her father’s passion for music. At nine years old, Lyris began collecting her own music collection, discovering and developing her connection with music. Now, Lyris is a full time dj and music curator, spending her days consuming and creating custom music experiences to connect people. Lyris feels her life’s purpose is pretty simple, “To spread love through the art of music.”