beth rowley

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Shelby Lynne: Just a Little Lovin' (Lost Highway)

Shelby Lynne: Just a Little Lovin' (Lost Highway)

Quite why anyone would get excited over the over-emoting 19-year old Adele's debut album when Shelby Lynne conveys more depth of ache in one line is beyond me. This exceptional album sees country singer Lynne go down a very difficult route: taking on songs made famous by the late Dusty Springfield (and offering one stunning original). And...

Jill Scott: The Real Thing, Words and Sounds Vol 3 (Inertia)

Jill Scott: The Real Thing, Words and Sounds Vol 3 (Inertia)

To be honest, this one might take a few goes: initially it seems fragmented, opening with a taut and percussive two minute track, kicks into something soulful driven by a distant rock riff, moves into a blast of tough r'n'b, then a mellow and intimate mood enters . . . But it was nominated for best r'n'b album at the Grammys and Scott for...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Duffy: Rockferry (Rough Trade)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Duffy: Rockferry (Rough Trade)

Funny how the UK rock press works, innit? Just a month or so ago this soulful, young Welsh singer who has a mainline to Dionne Warwick, Spector girl groups and Motown was being hailed as the next big thing/one to watch etc. Her record company had slipped out an advance sampler CD/7 inch which was so terrific it was posted here at Elsewhere...

Amy Winehouse: Frank Deluxe (Island)

Her life might the equivalent of a pub brawl (indeed sometimes it is, literally), but then again some seminal singers didn't always live a quiet life in the suburbs. What Winehouse's court appearances and fragile state have meant however is that there are holding actions on the part of her record company until she gets back on the rails....

Iva Lamkum: Iva Lamkum (Base/Rhythmethod)

Iva Lamkum: Iva Lamkum (Base/Rhythmethod)

The first thought that may occur to you on hearing this classy EP by 22-year old Wellington singer-songwriter Lamkum is just when a major international label will scoop her up. I'm picking sooner rather than later. With a mature and sophisticated meltdown of soul, jazz phrasing, funk and slippery reggae, Lamkum places herself right on the...

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

Gin: Extended Play (Island/Universal)

The other night we were flicking across the music channels and did that rare thing, paused for more than five seconds because there was a remarkable voice about which I said, "Wow, I'd like to hear more from that one". "That one" -- as it turned out two days later when a copy of this EP was pressed into my hand -- was this...

BETH ROWLEY INTERVIEWED (2008): From Bristol to the Big Time

BETH ROWLEY INTERVIEWED (2008): From Bristol to the Big Time

UK singer-songwriter Beth Rowley is one of those 10-year in the making overnight sensations. Her debut album Little Dreamer has won her wide acclaim -- “the next big thing", said the Independent, “destined for number one” weighed in the Sunday Times -- but because she has worked her way up from small pubs she seems very...

Beth Rowley: Little Dreamer (Universal)

Beth Rowley: Little Dreamer (Universal)

In the wake of the success of Duffy comes this bluesy singer from Bristol who also possesses a touch of French chanteuse and pop belter in her delivery, is courageous enough to open her debut album with a downbeat version of the old standard Nobody's Fault But Mine (which Led Zepp covered), deliver Dylan's I Shall be Released with a reggae...

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

New Zealand pop culture harbours few mysteries, but the disappearance of Sandy Edmonds on the cusp of the 70s is certainly one. Before she vanished the striking, lens-engaging singer -- long honey-blonde hair, sensuous teen-sullen pout and wide-eyed dolly-bird expression -- had been dominant in the music scene since the mid-60s. In 67...

Alice Russell: Pot of Gold (Inertia/Rhythmethod)

Alice Russell: Pot of Gold (Inertia/Rhythmethod)

This white, funky-soul chanteuse from Britain who can sound like Nina Simone as much as having stepped out of the Motown roster, doesn't always pen the most memorable of songs -- but it's all in the gutsy and committed delivery. She can get down'n'gritty or deliver up a sensuous yelp, and she backs it up with a hot band of horns honking,...

Paloma Faith: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Sony)

Paloma Faith: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Sony)

For the past few months it seems to have been impossible to miss Pixie Lott: posters and interviews (none of which I've read I must admit), her poppet-features poking out of every corner of popular culture. It came as a surprise to me then to learn just last week that the ubiquitous Pixie -- clearly a talent whose genius requires our...

Mayer Hawthorne: A Strange Arrangement (Rhythmethod)

Mayer Hawthorne: A Strange Arrangement (Rhythmethod)

There's a lot of soul -- and faux-soul -- around these days what with Duffy, Amy Winehouse (is she still around?), James Hunter, Beth Rowley who gives it a blues and rock twist, Alice Russell with a funk spin and, on the local front, Opensouls. Of them all, on paper at least, Hawthorne might have the hardest task persuading an...

Aretha Franklin: Don't Play That Song For Me (1970)

Aretha Franklin: Don't Play That Song For Me (1970)

It's a well established fact that some songs write themselves into our autobiographies: we remember our first love by our favourite song, can be taken back to exactly where we were and who we were with when a certain piece of music plays, songs conjure up time and place . . . Talkin' 'bout them Night Moves. The Classic Hits radio format...

Various: Alice Russell; The Pot of Gold Remixes (Little Poppet)

Various: Alice Russell; The Pot of Gold Remixes (Little Poppet)

This may well be for a minority audience for a few reasons: not as many people liked UK soul singer Alice Russell's late 2008 album Pot of Gold quite as much as I did (but seemed to like her Auckland gig a whole lot more than me, I quit out of despair). And this is a double disc of remixes of those album tracks by the likes DJ Vadim, Mr Scruff,...

The Watson Twins: Talking to You, Talking to Me (EMI)

The Watson Twins: Talking to You, Talking to Me (EMI)

This album might be surprisingly short -- a mere 33 minutes -- but it represents a significant and reasonably impressive shift in direction for Chandra and Leigh Watson who here call on friends from My Morning Jacket and Everest for an album that is by turns moody bluesy and soulful, all delivered with a pop economy. The folk and rootsy...

Duffy: Endlessly (Universal)

Duffy: Endlessly (Universal)

Poor Duffy. The preview tracks for her debut album Rockferry had everyone hailing her as one of the great new voices (even though she referred to classic pop and soul traditions) but when the album did arrive -- with some admittedly weaker tracks -- a section of the British press turned on her. They got in with the backlash even before the album...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Adele: 21 (XL)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Adele: 21 (XL)

Adele's debut album of two years ago -- 19, when she was 19 -- announced the arrival of a great British soul voice even if some of her original material wasn't quite as strong as it could have been. Still, she was only 19 -- but she hardly deserved to be lumped in with the new breed of British women singers coming through (notably Amy...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

If you were one of the few who didn't buy Amy Winehouse's second album Back to Black on release in 2006 you doubtless picked it up when it came out as an expanded edition a couple of years later. Or, failing that, picked up the four-CD box set which coupled the expanded version with her debut Frank and some extra tracks which accompanied that...

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