Review: Speedometer are an acclaimed UK band who describe themselves as being a 'funk behemoth'. Judging by the pedigree of artists that they've collaborated with - Eddie Bo, Sharon Jones, Billy Wooten, Sir Joe Quartermain and more - you can see their point. The latest legend to get involved with the guys is veteran soul icon Martha High, formerly of James Brown's band and more recently, Maceo Parker's chief vocalist. Having recently toured with the band, they now return the favour with bandleader Leigh Gracie producing a brand new studio album for Martha called Soul Overdue. Here we have two tracks from the LP, the first of which "I'd Rather Go Blind", is an authentic take on the late Etta James' mournful ballad. Up next is a lively re-working of soul classic "No More Heartaches" that's so well done, it sounds like it's beaming in directly from the mid '60s. Top that Austin Powers!
Review: A veteran soul singer of James Brown and Maceo Parker fame, Martha High has been riding er, high, again of late thanks to her work with top British R&B revivalists, Speedometer. Bandleader Leigh Gracie has now produced this new studio album for Martha and it's just what their fans are expecting: 11 tracks of vintage-tinged, retro soul and funk. Highlights include the total brass-fest of "Never, Never Love A Married Man", the bright and breezy cover of "Sunny" and her acclaimed take on the late Etta James' mournful ballad, "I'd Rather Go Blind".
Review: Freestyle's series of genre-themed download bundles continues, with June's 'Afro & Latin!' and September's 'Funk!' comps now joined by this 40-track collection of soul and disco nuggets from the label's back catalogue. The set kicks off with a bona fide classic in the form of Omar's 'There's Nothing Like This', after which come 39 more cuts from the likes of Carleen Anderson, Kyle Audist and The Fantastics (not to mention, in featured vocalist form, Jocelyn Brown and Caron Wheeler). The title's something of a misnomer - the emphasis is firmly on 'new old' soul, future R&B and neo-soul rather than disco - but there's much to enjoy here all the same.