No words needed – just listen to Mamma Freedom.
Even better as it's Christmas - BUY this album and GIVE AS A GIFT AND BE THE COOLEST GIFT GIVER !!!
... till what, you may ask – Well, till my much-mentioned (but with good reason cos they're “Brill”, as we all say in the bistros of Beauchamp Place) – yes, till my chums, the brill Mamma Freedom release their acoustic album of songs selected from their two previous rocking/soul sounds albums “Preachers and Criminals”and “Voodoo Suite Sessions Vol 1”.
They've got some great fun videos on YouTube, too, of their live performances at, for example, London's Jazz Café. Sort of a video diary, don't you know, and some others of “behind the scenes” at recording takes of the “Voodoo Suite” sessions.
Now alas ... yes, alas, I must admit I don't feature in any of these, but I trust one can console oneself with the stellar sounds and the outstanding musicianship.
So I won't warble on ad-infin... - I'll just strongly suggest, and I am fairly confident of my ground here when I say these boys are the business. Oh yes indeed, in fact it was just listening to the strains of “Being Good” from the new acoustic album “Altered State” that put me in mind of this whole bally writing style I've got stuck in today.
So there we are – take my advice, come Sunday deploy the old plastic card number via the usual business and grab your copy of “Altered State” before they're all gone – yes indeed, you take it from Robertson, these chaps are quite the dernier cri, and as far as cris go they don't come much more dernier than them.
Disclaimer: The fact these boys are working on backing me up and, to a large extent “carrying me” through my latest musical effort has no bearing on the above ; although I must say, the swirling organ, the kicking drums, and the sublime trumpet by Mr Marsh on my “Stopped Making Plans” does incline one to recommend their sound rather highly – well that, and the fact that they are all great musicians, playing knockout funky soul/rock compositions.
My mates at Mamma Freedom are just about ready to release their acoustic version of those knockout tracks from their “Preachers and Criminals” and “ Voodoo Suite Sessions Vol 1” albums on the absolutely sonically pristine “Altered State” album. Release date is 13th December.
Now, the previously-mentioned albums are both on iTunes if you care for the absolutely funk-full band renditions – that means drums and all kinda other instrument things - but I must say, having been privy to hearing the acoustic “Altered State” compilation ... this is “something else”!!!
If you don't like music - you won't like it; if you don't like jazz - you won't like it, and if you've got no soul - you won't like it; BUT, otherwise, YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!
Now much as I think JV Johnston is a vox par excellence, there is a track on this album that is just quite positively “arresting” and it is sung (as well as composed) by the Musical Director, Keys Man, Producer, Alexander Johnston. It's called “We Deserve” and if you don't find that a “stop you in your tracks” sound, well … check your soul in for repair.
Now as for jazzy and a bit of “Those Were the Days” - c'mon you remember Mary Hopkin, sure you do - well, “Being Good” is kinda a Gatzby /Those Were the Days, gypsy, good time romp.
All in one tonight. And tonight I am flying high up there in the sky on my way to Hawaii.
I am recording my next single (available soon at iTunes, Amazon and all your usual streaming and download sites) and it's all about Hawaii.
I like to be “in the location” or “on location” as the movie guys like Kyle Harrison would say.
It adds a certain authenticity to the flavour of the song, I mean, for example I recorded “Homeless in New York” out there in the street under the shelter of the overhead subway track. That's the song that the brilliant boys in Manchester, Alexander Johnston and JV Johnston, arranged into this colossal, orchestral Opus featuring on the Sonic Generals debut album “Soul Riders” (to be released soon, I think, but I'll keep you posted).
And with this new song I've been trying to get that powerhouse sound of Mamma Freedom to fly out and accompany me, but these guys are just so tied up, what with the launch of their rockingly funky Rhythm & Blues single “Cast the First Stone” (out on 2nd October), and the launch party and all, there in Manchester, well, we'll have to see whether they can make it. But it would be great cos their sound is dynamite.
And I promise, John (Mayer that is) that you can play on the next one - and it's right up your alley, honest.
So with all this going on, I decided to change my profile pic on Facebook. See, with the previous one I had this idea to have it mirror the atmosphere in my single “Stopped Making Plans” - which was a piece I wrote with a movie theme in mind. Not sure they're still gonna make the movie, so it's a great excuse “to get out of this place, find me some heat and a warm sweet embrace” and change that profile pic.
Just love Hawaii, here I come.
By virtue of my special powers, I have hovered over the Voodoo Suite Studios in Manchester, England, and I have eavesdropped on the creation of an acoustic work of art.
Simple – one takes a very special and unique vocal talent (JV Johnston) and a band of musicians tempered tight by virtue of their gigging in the likes of London's Jazz venues: Mamma Freedom are the band of the moment.
And so recording-wise, one passes the sound of these superb talents over to the production genius of Alexander Johnston and … Voila !
You have “Altered State” - an acoustic celebration of real musical purity, outside of the confines of commercial distortion, crazily chasing any “latest” trend in a cacophony of … (you choose your favourite derogatory word).
I warrant that if you can find a better Jazz-influenced achievement than “We Deserve”, I think you need to listen to it one more time, as I think you would be mistaken. Sometimes excellence is not immediately appreciated.
That's it. “Altered State” by Mamma Freedom is something else in its purity, scope and musicianship. Give your ears a break from the noise, and listen and relax. Mamma Freedom have it covered. The new “Altered State” album is coming very, very soon and if you are insistent and impatient, I'll use my special powers to speed up the release!
And here's what they do when they're in their Soul R&B persona … pick the bones outta that if you can!!! And my own single track? Well it's Done a Dusted too, but …. later.
Yes, Europe, particularly England, has had a huge downpour this last week, and it put me in mind of a song by a great friend to musicians, from Detroit, Michigan - David Wirtanen, and I happen to know he will have this song, “When It Rains” along with a bunch of others out on his “Mystical Spies” album around 21st September.
Now some of his songs I like, and some less (and Dave knows that), but this song is, I think, a really good song and I believe it is his producer Andy Patalan singing the lead on it and his voice fits it really well. He is also a touring and performing musician, so he would sound pro, wouldn't he?
So here's a link to "When It Rains" and if you like country I think this works. Give it a listen.
The album has a “trains” theme, I believe, running through the tracks so if you're into songs featuring trains, well ….
And I also hear, out of UK, that my favourite R&B group Mamma Freedom are into the TOP TEN WORLDWIDE at Number 7 today and climbing, and you ain't heard nothin' yet, just wait till the acoustic “Altered State” album gets released cos they've got one of the best Jazz/Soul voices in JV Johnston doing his thing. And produced by the brilliant producer of my own song, Alexander Johnston– and the release is coming very, VERY SOON.
Alexander Johnston ... JV Johnston ... Bob Marsh
Bruce Springsteen once said in an interview that songwriters are “desperate”, but before I go on here's the link on YouTube.
Anyway, talking about songwriters he said ,“They are desperate, they always have to have something bothering them, all the time.” I am paraphrasing, and he was talking about great rock 'n roll musicians, but I think it translates to almost every songwriter who is writing “about” something rather than just rhyming to the rhythm.
So I just finished working on a composition of my own and it will be finished production – mixing – mastering and all that NEXT WEEK !
And I am so, so, lucky to have had guidance, assistance, support and encouragement from a producer whose main man is Beethoven – yes, Beethoven and because of that, I let him play Piano on my song. And his brother who has Chopin as his maestro – I let him play guitars on my song.
So all I needed to finish off was a Trumpet, and I got a terrifically soulful Miles Davis sound from Bob Marsh, one half of the duo who make up the honkingly good horn section of Mamma Freedom.
They are all, of course, part of the brilliant Mamma Freedom group, currently Number One on the R&B Soul charts on Reverbnation. They are superb musicians, and so all I had to do was talk my way through the lyrics and not get in the way of their great sound.
I did give it one try singing, but they all shook their heads slowly, and looked very sympathetic and understanding – so I got it, no singing.
So here is who “done” what on my song, and getting back to Bruce … well, you'd need to hear the song before I explain. I'll post when it's out, and even if you just listen to the sample, you'd get the idea. It's called,
“Stopped Making Plans”
Produced by Alexander Johnston for the CMI Music Group
Mixed, Mastered and Recorded at a the Voodoo Suite Studio, Manchester.
Alexander Johnston: Drums, Bass, Piano, Organ, Percussion
JV Johnston: Guitars
Robert Marsh: Trumpet
I HOPE TO HAVE IT OUT on iTUNES and AMAZON within the next week or so.
And talking about very soon upcoming music releases, Mamma Freedom themselves have an acoustic album “Altered State” comprising songs from their first two albums “Preachers and Criminals” and “Voodoo Suite Sessions” coming out this month. And JV Johnston is the voice fronting the Mamma Freedom sound, and he DOES sing brilliantly – which is very annoying to guys like me. And of course it is produced by the Main Man, who also produced my song, Alexander Johnston – who also plays just about everything in addition to being musical director. So with my song pretty much done and dusted, here's their “Done and Dusted”.
Informal video, like a docu/diary or “cinema vérité” if you wish, but we go along with this knockout group as they perform in London, England.
Their “Altered State” acoustic album will feature renditions of some of the top tracks off their full rocking band iTunes album “Voodoo Suite Sessions” ; and the acoustic “Altered State” is out this month – and I will certainly post when, BUT give these guys a listen now, here on this YouTube video, and then you can catch some of their tunes in Studio Quality from the album on Reverbnation. It doesn't get much better if you like excellence – remember Excellence?
Here is the link to the YouTube vid
And to hear a playlist FREE of their best on Reverbnation (where they've been in the Top Rankings, as high as Number 4 Worldwide, I think. Anyway, well they've been in Top 20 Territory for about 10 months !!!)
More announcements coming VERY soon, and some about Masters, too. Maybe it is time to “DO”.
Love that song, and on a good day with the wind behind me, I can almost sing it ... but anyway.
Here's where we're at now – my friends at MAMMA FREEDOM in Manchester, England are, right now, putting instrumentation and production on my composition “Stopped Making Plans”.
And here they are in the Voodoo Suite Studios.
This song is actually more recent than “Homeless In New York” which will be coming out on the Sonic Generals' album quite soon.
If anyone in Masters is involved with charities relating to homelessness – well, I know producer and music director Alexander Johnston is thinking of making the song available to those charities.
The Sonic Generals album “Soul Riders” is crammed packed with outstanding performers, and I myself can't wait to hear the final product.
Of course, at the foundation of the Sonic Generals is the stellar powerhouse R&B soul group Mamma Freedom who have been winning over fans in London recently at the Jazz Café and soon to return to play The Windmill in Brixton on 19 Sep.
And their acoustic album “Altered State” will be out in August, and features several of the top tracks off their “Voodoo Suite Sessions” which is out on iTunes with the full R&B Soul treatment.
But JV Johnston, the lead singer, has got a great – really great - jazzy, soulful voice, so with just acoustic I think this album will be a really cool, smooth mood-maker.
Now getting back to Masters Swimming.
How come I didn't show in the Top Tens and all that stuff swimming Masters-wise? Well mostly cos if you ain't French, the French are NOT going to inform anyone outside France of whatever you do.
More blogs coming now. Cos it's time to Do !
~ Author of fiction