Solid Brass: Ten Years of Northern Funk

A 18 track funk album (1h 13m 48s) — released February 22nd 2019 on Jalapeno Records

A lot can happen in ten years.

Rewind back to Gateshead in 2008 - the producer Smoove is round his friend and keyboard player - Mike Porter's house. Together they are working on tracks for his project and all of a sudden they hear a heavenly voice from the neighbour. Transfixed by the vocals that are caressing their ears they go and investigate to find a youthful John Turrell doing his thing at a practice with a local band he played with when he wasn't teaching carpentry at the local college. Together they woo him with their Geordie charms and the initial line up of 'Smoove & Turrell' is born. The group instantly gel and soon after have penned the killer track 'I Can't Give You Up'…

Flash forward to 2019 and the carpentry community looks on with jealousy as the group has gone from strength to strength. Signed to the independent label Jalapeno Records they are now five albums deep and they have achieved multiple radio-playlisted singles, won awards, toured with the likes of Chic, gained sync success across the world and continue to wow venues in all continents with their thrilling live shows on the regular.

All of this in an age where attention spans are shorter than ever and there is more access to music than ever. This is certainly an achievement worth celebrating. Doubly so in fact as not only is it their ten year anniversary collection but also it is the 300th official release on Jalapeno Records so it only seems right that the occasion gets commemorated properly – a double gatefold LP with brass coloured vinyl somehow seems appropriate...

Comprising of 18 tracks taken from all five of their studio albums as well as two new barnstorming tunes exclusive to this release – it's a veritable feast of northern funk gems from start to finish. Favourites from their deep catalogue including 'Slow Down', 'Beggarman', 'In Deep', 'Have Love' and 'You Could've Been A Lady' are all present and correct, lining up next to the two newbies which also hold their own.

"But what about the new tracks?!" we hear you cry – well Smoove's solo rework of The Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man is the stuff of legend with physical copies changing hands for huge sums (if you are lucky enough to be able to locate one in the first place!). The track has long been a staple of S&T live sets but they've never laid it down in a studio recording… That is until now. It's a monster of a tune and the perfect way to kick proceedings off on this record.

That's not all though, as the lads also serve up the aptly reflective 'Give it Back'. It's signature Smoove & Turrell stuff - full of soul with deep and heartfelt lyricism. Turrell's chorus refrain "We love the ones who give it back" is typically honest and true of a band that prides themselves on community. Proper canny that. Proper canny.

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