Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Duane Williams - These Songs Are For You - 2009 - Soul Junction

I have already sung the praises of the Soul Junction 7" release from Duane Williams, "Yes, My Love Is Real", and I have been looking forward to a follow-up album. Here it now is, 12 glorious songs that showcase Duane's more than soulful credentials and Will Hatcher's excellent writing and production skills. This is quality independent stuff, as fans of the 7" single will already attest. As you know, Duane was one half of 70s soul duo Beverly and Duane, and two songs from that album are recreated here with the sole input of Duane Williams. "Living In A World" is given a modern, funkier and more bassy reading with a vocal slant that would make Gerald Alston proud, and also check "Living In A World" which is given a modern remake. I like both versions of both songs, and enough has been done to make these different enough to make them tracks in their own right.

The Gospel-tinged "Father We're Having Trouble" addresses today's ills and issues and reminds me of how the great Ronnie McNeir would tackle these issues. Musically we're into modern Lonnie Hill "No Games" territory, and the sparse backing and harsh snare compliment the expansive keys and impassioned vocal pleas. Great stuff on here. The rumbling old school ballad "I'm In Love" will please many ears and the vocal delivery is straight out of the good old days of soul music, and I again hear Gerald Alston taking this track on. Ronnie McNeir again springs to mind with the music which underpins "Oh Me, Oh My (Wonderful)". Should there be a second single release then this, in my honest opinion, is the track I would plumb for. This is great soul music for 2009. The uptempo basspin-rumbler "Come With Me" should also impress - the scratchy guitar and synth work well on this. The bass leap-frogs atop a jostling rhythm and after a few plays will really get into your brain. Now all we're waiting on is the forthcoming CD from Audio!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe