Thursday, 13 April 2017

Out Of The Blue Keni Stevens hits Number One

Congratulations to Keni Stevens who is number one in the Soul charts! 30 years after his album 'Blue Moods' hit the spot selling over a million copies worldwide.   

Out of the blue marks the long awaited return to the world stage for British soul singer Keni Stevens, who is currently taking bookings for pa's and festivals around the world. 

The CD is currently available in record stores in most parts of the world, and it sure does come Out Of The Blue, the first single from the album ONE WAY TICKET TO LOVE  is available as a download from DSG via iTunes. 
  
Keni Stevens turned the Brit soul scene upside down by daring to move away from 'the dance beat' with his debut album Blue Moods. Blue Moods topped the soul charts in the mid 80's and became a landmark album of ballads selling over 150,000 copies in the UK alone.

This latest work 'Out of the Blue' comes completely 'out of the blue'. The production expertly crafted by musician producer Mx-Ze pulls from classic and contemporary soul, setting up a classy mid tempo backdrop for Keni to deliver in his unmistakable dark smokey style.
Songs are about life, love and relationships taking us on a journey through emotions and feelings we have all touched upon as our lives have unfolded, with its inevitable, twists, turns, ups and downs.
Stevens is the son of a US serviceman and began his career working in a record shop, selling deleted catalogues of soul and lovers rock, rock steady and reggae music. His first move into music came in the mid 1970s, when he joined as lead singer for the group Raw Energy. Raw Energy members included Alan Cooke (now a British actor starring in London Bridge) and Peter Hinds (who went on to play keyboards for 1980s Brit funk band Light of the World). Raw Energy were signed to Conflict Records, but disbanded after 18 months of playing gigs up and down the country.
Stevens was taken on as A&R man for Conflict Records, and being responsible for releasing lovers rock and rock steady music by artists such as Gregory Isaacs in the UK. Stevens also worked as a session singer with Eddy Grant and Marianne Faithfull, before signing to the Elite label as a solo artist in 1985.
Blue Moods period...
Stevens released two singles on Elite Records in 1985, "Night Moves" and "All Day All Night", which were played by specialist UK radio stations. This led to interest in his work, although he was initially mistaken for being a US artist. Polygram offered Stevens a £2.5 million recording contract, which he declined feeling it would threaten his independence.
Staying with Elite Records, Stevens recorded his debut album, Blue Moods. Two singles, "Too Much Too Soon" (on Elite Records) and "Cannot Live Without Your Love" (on the newly formed Jam Today label) were released as 12-inch singles, before Blue Moods appeared on Jam Today in 1987. "Cannot Live Without Your Love" was featured on several soul compilation albums, such as Upfront 6 (on Serious Records).   

Blue Moods sold over 150,000 copies in the UK alone, and over a million worldwide. Stevens appeared on a few television shows to promote the album, including, Solid Soul. He released a further two albums, You and Living on the Edge, on Debut Records.
"I am often asked if I write songs for anyone in particular. The reaction to my answer tells me whether or not the questioner understands my work. The answer is no. My songs are about adult relationships and situations.... I don't expect you to change anything in your life or relationship because of these songs, I can only hope they might shed some light on some of the things that often go unsaid in relationships. Therefore enjoy the songs and take from them anything you might find applicable to your own situation.... That's what this recording is about and after all, if you're reading this you've probably paid for it!" [Reproduced from Keni Stevens' You album sleeve notes.

Great to see Brit Soul back at the top of the Soul charts! The album has been successfully promoted by Gary Van den Bussche of DSG Radio Promotions. 
 Credits from Keni....
All tracks Written by
G. Ingram K Stevens
Except - All That I have
Written by
G Ingram Jess Stevens
Produced and mixed by Mx-Ze
All instruments played by Mx-Ze
Additional Muicians
Ronnie Stazacher- Guitar- All That I have
Steve Salvari - Guitar -Come into my Life
Rico Garofalo- Saxaphone- Loving you is All I have
Background Vocals
Keni Stevens
Jess Stevrens
Additional Voices
Keni Stevens
Jess Stevens
Graham Ingram
Technical Support
Cameron McAnuff- Software and system set up/ Pre Mastering
Paul Waller- Software and system set up.
Chris Cox Tech support.
Special Thanks from Keni Stevens to
Dawn for supporting me and encouraging me to do what I know
Jess Stevens for your immeasurable contribution. Thanks also to Gary Van Den Bussche for his support and endeavour
Special Thanks from Mx-Ze to Lorraine Cavanagh for being so patient with loving
support throughout the project.
Yazon Muzas for pushing me to get a decent set up. Thanks Yaz xx

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Brenda Jones Tribute

We are sad to report the passing of our friend Brenda Jones.
It was reported on her sister's Facebook wall that she had been hit by a car.
According to her sister, Shirley Jones, the singer was struck on Monday, April 3, by several cars while attempting to cross the street while visiting her daughter in Wilmington, Delaware.

Our friendship began when it was reported back in July 2013, that she was homeless. We started a campaign through our DiscoSoulGold page on Facebook for help. Help arrived and she was moved from a shelter to a hotel and then later to a new home with her daughter and Granddaughter.
I only spoke to her last weekend, we spoke about what she was up to, Grandchildren, going back on stage, to even going back to recording. She loved her fans, stage and the artists she worked with had lots of lovely memories to talk about.
                               (Brenda Jones interview with Solar Radio's Gary Spence )

As part of The Jones Girls, Brenda sang the lead vocals on many of their classic's including This Feelings Killing Me, You Made Me Love You, You're Gonna Make Me Love, Life Goes On, We're A Melody, I'm at your Mercy, Dance Turned Into a Romance, I Close My Eyes, When I'm Gone, ASAP, Lets Be Friends First, What a Fool, I Can Make A Difference, Why You Wanna do That To Me, AH AH AH AH, plus the co-Lead on 'Nights over Egypt among others..

The list of artists the Jones Girls have sung with is like a who's who is Soul music, but these are a few examples Isaac Hayes, Lou Rawls, Prince Phillip Mitchell, Linda Clifford, The Four Tops.

Their performances with Diana Ross opened many doors for the girls. Ross gave them a brief interlude in her show where they would sing "If I Ever Lose This Heaven," a song popularized by Quincy Jones. Kenny Gamble of Philadelphia International Records and singer Patti LaBelle were in the audience during a Philadelphia performance, and after the show, Ross introduced them to The Jones Girls; the group signed with Philadelphia International in early 1979 and the rest they say is history.

Brenda Jonesgirl had spent a lot of time concentrating on her family life. Brenda's last release was “What Your Love Has Done” which was originally written, produced and arranged by Dewey Andrew in 2007 and co-produced by the late George Mena with additional melodies and arrangements that were co-produced by Brenda JonesGirl. The song was left in the can after the sad loss of George Mena, until 2013 when Dewey Andrew decided this needed to be released, so Brenda Jonesgirl went back in the recording studio to add some extra vocal touches with Dewey in the production chair once again, giving the song that magical touch, that chart in the UK Soul charts reaching #1 in many of them. Unfortunately this was Brenda's only solo release.

Her dream was to go back on the stage, but due to life's obstacles and her circumstance it was not meant to be. She would say to me 'God Has It' She used to say Fasho! I never could say it as she wanted me to.

It's no secret that she did not get on with her sister Shirley, but i'm pleased to say that due to the Sister Sledge family despute, they did make up and talked about touring again as The Jones Girls.

May she forever rest in peace, with her sister Valorie and her Mum. We are Gonna miss you Brenda.

LISTEN HERE TO A RADIO TRIBUTE WITH UNRELEASED TRACKS 

R.I.P Brenda Jones of The Jones Girls (7th December 1955- 3rd April 2017)