Wednesday 28 July 2010


Where were you born ?

I was born in the Steel City (Sheffield)

Where did you grow up ?

I grew up in Sheffield and lived here until i was 17 years old. I joined the Parachute Regiment soon after and stayed with the regiment for over 5 years. I was injured while on active service which led to a medical discharge. I then moved back to Sheffield until 1998 when i relocated to Ibiza and lived there for 4 years. I moved back to Sheffield and have been here since.

What were your earliest musical influences ?

I got into soulful music obsessively in the late 80's via the acid jazz scene listening to bands like Galliano, JTQ, Stone cold boners, D-Influence, Incognito, Urban Species, Young disciples, etc.

Did you grow up in the club scene?

I had a flutter when i was really young from 16 to 17 years old in 1989, right before joining the army. Then as soon as i got out up until going to Ibiza in 1998 i was pretty heavily involved going to places like Hard times, Back 2 Basics (Leeds) and Love 2 B in Sheffield. It was the explosion of the US house sound. When all the clubs started to bring over the US DJ's on a regular basis.

How did you get into DJ'ing ?

I bought some decks in 93 and starting to lean how to blend records. I played out a few times up until going to Ibiza but nothing regular. I did a fair bit of playing out in Ibiza, just the bars really as the music i was playing was classed as down-tempo. Places like the Base Bar, Rock Bar, Manumission Hotel, Magnolia.

Who were your favourite artists back in the day ?

I was very much into the US sound so people like Smack Music, Mental Instrum, Michael Watford, MAW, Kerri Chandler, Blaze.

Were you a vinyl collector back then ?

Yeah, when i look back at how much money i actually spent on vinyl it makes me cringe! A good friend of mine had a record shop in Sheffield, so i was always down there i was a vinyl junkie. It was great waiting for the US releases to arrive on a Saturday morning. I sold most of my collection 7 years ago to fund some studio equipment and don't regret it to be honest as it would now be worth very little.

What are your all time favourite Top Ten tracks ?

This is a difficult one to be honest. I couldn't really pick just ten. Here's a few that stick in my mind for today and in no particular order:

MAW ft. James Ingram - Lean on me
Kenny Bobien - Father
MAW ft. Michael Watford - My Love
Colonel Abrams - Victim of loving you
MAW - Voices in my mind
Erro - Rok with You
Michael Proctor - Love don't live
Kerri Chandler - Atmosphere
MAW ft. India - to be in love
Alexander Hope - Dancin

When and how did you get into remixing and production ?

I was always interested in production but knew the learning curve was pretty intense and didn't really have the time. I was at a friends night in Sheffield and had a chance meeting with Groove Assassin who i didn't realise was from Sheffield. We got talking and arranged to meet up again as i wanted him to do some work for my label. He used to come over my place and he showed me how to go on. Eventually he set my studio up for me and i was lucky enough to learn everything from him over the years. He's a bit of a geek so i always go to him first:)

You have been involved in dj'ing and production,which song
do you wish you had written yourself ?

MAW ft. India - to be in love. It's just a beautiful song and has a special place in my heart. I had a rendition of this song at my wedding with Pete Simpson singing backed by my keyboard player Bennett Holland it was beautiful moment lol!

Who are other dj's that you have and do admire ?

I class Groove Assassin as my favourite DJ. He's technically very good and has a great taste in music. Also, Kerri Chandler, Frankie Feliciano, and Tony Humphries.

Talk about some of your favourite clubs and country's around the world
while you were dj'ing ?

I wasn't a jet setting DJ. I only ever played in Ibiza really. I did like the funky room in Pacha back in the day and space before the music took a turn for the worse!

Where did you draw your influences to create your unique Soulful
Style !

The jazzy sound definitely comes from the acid jazz era. The keyboard player i use is also a jazz musician and was into the acid jazz scene, so it's perfect really.

Which artist or acts would you like to produce going forward
if you could choose ?

Without doubt India would be a dream come true! I was lucky enough to remix a few of my favourite vocalists recently. Michael Watford for Soundmen on Wax and a Michelle Weeks and Byron Stingily duet. Leroy Burgess for Sedsoul. Also, a Dawn Tallman song for Mn2s. All forthcoming over the next couple of months.

What are your ten current favourite tunes ?

To be honest i don't really get to listen to much music now. I spend most of the day in the studio and i'm sick of music when the evening come around!

You have worked on remixes on many acts including
Melba Moore,Mina Jackson,Steven Stone,Stephanie Cooke,Claude Bain,Carolyn Victorian,Vick Lavender, Dolls Combers,Jannae Jordan,Justin Imperiale,Pad Beryll,J S.O.U.L etc etc do these guys fall into the soulful category that you feel you can enhance what they have,through your connection using real instruments your sound is complimented around the world at this time particularly your connection with Dolls Combers and Vick Lavender's Chicago set up ?

Well i kind of approach every remix the same. If i like the vocal and think i can add something to the package then i'll do it. Yeah, big fan of Dolls Combers and Vick. Infact just about to start a remix for Dolls Combers that is going out on Vicks label in a month.

Can you give us your thoughts on the U.K.'s very own Southport Weekender ?

I'm ashamed to say i've never been to SP. I've been meaning to go for years. It's on my list in the very near future though.

Tell us a little about your liasons with Nick Moss (Groove Assassin ) and your Camio Recordings with artists such as Reelsoul , Jihad Muhammad , Kenny Carvajal , Stacey Mallory , NJ Project , Dwayne Morgan , Deep Inc , Mario Basanova , Dom Navarro , Anto Vitale , UPZ , Fuzion , Pete Simpson & Lorraine Reid M-Sol , Dolls Combers and many more tell us about this output how did you get together and how did you move things forward together ?

Well i started the label in 2004 and the first release was by Jihad which came about through a mutual friend called Bruce Jeffers. Jihad was looking at getting this track signed which was a real jazzy number called "The Dawn." It sold really well in Japan on vinyl and was licensed twice to two compilations over there.

The Dwayne Morgan song i heard in it's original form (a live version) and got in contact with Dwayne to work out a deal for it. I had the vocals recorded again and Dwayne had Lorraine Reid do some backing vocals on it. Which was how i met her for a future solo project. I was fond of Kenny Carvajal's work on Phuturesole Recordings, so asked him to put it all together.

Pete Simpson is a good friend. The track he did with Jon Cutler called "Runnin" was a firm favourite at the time. I found out that Pete lived in Sheffield and couldn't believe it! We got in touch and have been friends since.

Everyone else you mentioned were producers i was feelin at the time and wanted to work with, so just contacted them and worked something out.

Nick Moss helped me with the label. We run it together for a few years - but it's taken a bit of a back seat since the production has took hold.

You work now with Craig Stewart what are your individual roles ?

Yeah, been working with Craig alot recently - infact weve done about 50 remix projects. He lives in Manchester and comes over my studio once a week. I do all the hands on production and Craig comes up with some really good idea's.

What do you feel about House Music in 2010 and where its headed ?

Well, it really is hard to make much out of house music these days. Advance payments are available via some of the bigger labels but everyone is feelin the pinch due to the illegal download situation.

What are your views on the advent of downloads and sites like Traxsource and Juno is this an improvement on the days of vinyl ?

Traxsource is a great outlet for house music. It enables producers to get their work out there to the public without a great deal of financial outlay. It's by no way an improvement from days of vinyl though in my opinion. Talking from a label point of view, music is so easily available to download for free. Sales are effected in a major way. The only people who pay for music are the people that respect the artist and label for the hard work put in. It's not free to make music when you use professional musicians and vocalists. On the other hand i can't really chastise anyone for downloading music for free if it's there right in front of their faces. Before the CD deck came out the only way of getting hold of the new jamz were on vinyl, so as you can imagine sales were ten fold and then some.

What's in the future for Jonny Montana ?

I'm continuing working with Craig on a number of remix projects. We've also started doing original productions with Dawn Tallman, Pete Simpson, Sofia Rubina, Diviniti, Stef Cooke and Kafele, so keep an eye out for those.

I'm also working on a number of solo remix projects for Nervous Records and various labels.

Thanks for your time Jonny all the best for the future there are certainly many of us feeling your tunes at the moment some quality 21st Century Soul !!!

You can catch up with a huge amount of Jonny's great work at Traxsource follow this link !

Saturday 24 July 2010

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Summerhaze2010 by CCMusicMix

Summerhaze2010 by CCM


Blackpool Mecca Appreciation Society: BLACKPOOL MECCA APPRECIATION SOCIETY in association with THE MECCA MAFIA presents an Evening of Mecca Memories fromthis Golden Era of SOUL fUNK & Jazz in the 70'sfeaturing many forgotten gems and eclectic tunes.A "real time" last hour session !This will all be held at The Preston Swallow HotelPreston New Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0ULDJ's all together for the fist time since back in the day COLIN CURTIS & (The Mecca Mafia) PETE HAIGHANDY LETT & STEVE NAYLOR Sound courtesy of Stewart Wennen Soulful dance @ Lytham SATURDAY NOVEMBER 6TH 20108pm till 2amAdvance Tickets £10

Monday 19 July 2010


STOP STOP PRESS New from Nicole with Jon Oudo Enjoy !!

Nicole Mitchell
No Suicide Vick Lavender's Sophistcado All Soul Mixes
Available now @ Traxsource
Deep soulful house.
Sophisticado Recordings presents Nicole Mitchell's No suicde with haunting lyrics and Nicole's sweet vocals
this record is 100% soul.Together with Vick Lavender's production and arrangment this is sure to please deep soulful listeners around the world.

No Suicide ( Vick Lavender's Sophisticado all soul mixes )
Written by Eric McSwaine & Nicole Mitchell
Lead & background vocals performed by Nicole Mitchell.
Original version produced by Eric McSwaine.
Remix produced and arranged by Vick Lavender for Sophisticado & Lavajam productions.
Brian Doherty on bass guitar.
Mike Levin on live sax.
All drum programming by Vick Lavender.
Engineered by Vick Lavender @ Sophisticado studio's Chicago Ill.
For booking and or licensing please contact Sophisticado Recordings @ or

No suicide original version
Written and produced by Nicole Mitchell & Eric McSwaine.
All music by Eric McSwaine.
Lead and background vocals by Nicole Mitchell.

Hi ! Once again I focus my attention on the multi talented City of Chicago.My attention drawn again to a vocalist who has worked with Al Olive and also under the umbrella of the Sophisticado Maestro
Vick Lavender.This time it is
Highlighting the talents of Nicole Mitchell ! Hey Nicole ......

Where were you born ? and Where did you grow up ?
I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is also where i grew up
Were you brought up in the Church ?
I was brought up by my mother who is a Jehovah’s Witness
What were your early influences musically ?
Being from Michigan i had no choice but to have alot of influence from Motown. My vocal coach at a young age was Bertha McNeal of Motown’s Velvelettes. Other influences range from Earth Wind & Fire, Bob Marley, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Caron Wheeler, Dionne Warwick and Annie Lennox to name a few
How old were you when you realised you wanted to sing ?
Funny i was awkwardly shy growing up. My mother placed me in dance at a young age. From there i got hooked on musicals. I’d say 5th grade...we were doing selections from “Annie” my music teacher noticed my “big voice” as she calls it and the rest is history...Truth be told i wanted to remain in chorus as i would only sing out when all eyes were NOT on me.
Was it music on the Radio that influenced you or in clubs ?
Id have to say music on the radio influenced me. Alot of the influence came from me reading magazines and when i saw what artist were new or had a cd coming go buy it. I didnt have alot of friends in my neighborhood growing up, so I would spend my allowance buying 45’s and albums. I would read the liner notes. I could tell you who wrote what, who played on what, who sang background etc. It was beyond obsessive for such a young girl. Radio didnt play a large variety of music where i came from so i created it in my own little world.
Were your parents or family musical ?
My grandmother was a bigband singer. She used to sing on a gospel radioshow back. I hate that she died before i was able to hear her stories. My uncle toured professionally as a pianist as well as my other uncle who was a professional drummer. My father performed in the ARMY as a tribute singer to Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole...
Who are your favourite artists ?
My favorite Artist are Sting, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Prince, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, David Foster, Will I Am, Gladys Knight, Rod Temperton, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin and Jill Scott to name a few. My favorite artist consist of writers, singers and producers that have their own style, sound and swag.
What are your favourite ten all time songs ?
Lovely Day by Bill Withers, Soon I’ll be Loving You by Marvin Gaye, Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson, Fantasy by EWF, Spoke to Me by Prince, Tenderness by Otis Redding, Everything I Miss At Home by Cherrelle, Change the World by Eric Clapton and Babyface, He Loves Me by Jill Scott and Feelin Good by Nina Simone. Bonus...Paul Revere by the Beatsie Boys
Do you write your own material ?
I do write my own material. Not a big fan of cover tunes unless its changed to fit the artist covering it but i admit I did one cover on my first cd and have another cover coming out on my new release.
Where do you draw your influences for that ?
I draw my influence from real life experiences. Pain, laughter, joy, disappointment,hope, love and all those type of feelings. Sometimes world events or i’ll take situations that affect others and write about them. Im a huge people watcher and i love to listen to stories of others...thats my inspiration.
Tell us how tuff it is to get your music heard in this world of MTV,r& b and Rap culture !
OMG it is outrageously difficult to get our indie music heard. Its funny because we live in such a forward moving society, but somehow we allow ourselves to become stuck when it comes to music. I miss the day of music execs that groomed artist to be different. Thank God for Jac Holzman, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Ahmet Ertegun and others for taking chances back in the day. Im worried about the future execs. These new people seem to be afraid to take chances and showcase talent that “Grown” people want to hear. They keep going after these younger artist forgetting the timeless sounds of Jackson 5, Motown, Beatles and others that are consistently reinvented
Tell us a little about the Chicago Music scene as you see it today.
The scene in Chicago is hard to explain. We have some amazing talent in Chicago. I’ll speak from a vocalist perspective. In my opinion i feel we can do better as a music community to support each other. Whether it be DJ’s incorporating chicago artist in their live mixes, mixtapes and blogs or fellow chicagoans supporting live independent shows as well as supporting our projects. As a singer i grew frustrated with the local ever changing club scene and started booking venues such as The HotHouse, The ParkWest and The DuSable Museum of African American Art and selling tickets individually for my shows. Honestly im trying to be on the level as the artist i look up to so i feel the need to present myself as such. Settle for apples, you get rather bake the pie :)
How did you hook up with Chicago's main man Vick Lavender & talk a little about how that works and who is on the project. ?
Well ...Ive known Vick for years and ive always been a fan of his work. Funny thing is, i met him while he was working heavily with Mr. A.L.I. I was working with bass player Lamar Jones who introduced me to Jere McAlister who hired me to fill in as a vocalist with Carla Prather and Dajae (Brighter Days). We were able to collaborate on my 2nd cd in “A Sound Of My Own” on the track ‘Thinkin Back’...Fast forward to this year..Vick and I connected on facebook and he sent me a few instrumental tracks to write to. The first tracks were “So Lonely” and “Newness Love”...They were both actually smooth soul tracks which will be released later though with Vick being the master remixer that he is, we ended up with 2 serious soul house tracks. The songs were well received though before we could release he gave me a new instrumental which i wrote titled “Make You Wanna”. We brought Al Olive in on this track. I cant tell you how happy i am that i introduced Al and Vick. Vick recently remixed my single “Need To Know” which is also unreleased (Cowritten by Preston Glass). Were now remixing my new track “No Suicide” which is a mid tempo track that is also unreleased dealing with this tragic epidemic. There are some amazing songs in the works. All i can say is we have some fantastic soul music coming out that is definately for the the grown & sexy. Im sure everyone will be blown away. Some blogs were comparing our style of house to the other types of house and all i can say is its all groovy man. Were not here to compete...just inspire and share our talents with everybody.
We love Need to Know from Sophisticado and you have been over to The UK to work with John Oudo tell us about that !
OMG...John Oudo...I cant tell you enough about that man. First of all let me say I am truly falling in love with the European market. From fashion, to people, to music! I met John on facebook believe it or not. I cant remember who befriended who but i would touch base every now and then (hey whats the use of being fb friends if you’re not gonna know whose on your page right?) and one day i came right out and suggested we work together. He checked out my vibe and next thing i know i was flying to London. The trip started off on the right note..i was sitting right next to Fergie (the Duchess) which was cool for me. I came to town saturday morning, came to the studio and we started recording immediately. I hadnt heard the songs yet but i tell you, they were amazing. You’ve heard “I Dont Need You”. The first track we recorded entitled “Satisfied” comes out later this month and let me be the first to say the John has outdone himself. John is a musician and has a background in Jazz like Vick which i believe helps their production style and musicality.
Is there going to be a Nicole Mitchell album ? When might we see that ?
I have two cd’s out now. My debut cd “The Many Moods Of Me” was released 2004 with the title track ‘Many Moods’ being licensed by Marcus Johnson’s Three Keys Music and my cover of Cherrelle’s ‘Everything I Miss At Home’ has been rereleased and received her blessing as i was called to open and sing background for her which was a awesome. My sophmore cd “A Sound Of My Own” was released in 2008 and received a licensing contract from Spafax which places music on commercial airplanes. Im currently in the studio finishing up “The Bi-Polar Music Project” Volume 1 (Licensed to Chill) which will be out later this year. Volume 2 (Licensed to Ill) will be out early next year. The first single “Forever United” featuring Phil Perry was released this spring. The follow up single “Need To Know” will be released in Aug 2010. Both tracks as well as two others were cowritten by Preston Glass (Aretha Franklin, Jermaine Stewart, Whitney Houston, Kenny G).
You are big friends with another guy we love over here in the UK Al Olive how did you guys hook up and as we know work live together ?
Ahh ! Al Olive...I came to Dallas and was approached by NJH productions to do a concert for them. Problem is my band members were either on tour with other artist or in Chicago. I scoured the city for a band and stumbled upon The Buster Brown Band which Al is one of the lead singers. I hired the band with Al singing background. I couldnt keep him in the background as we had such great musical chemistry. I added a Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell tribute to the show which we later performed at another date by popular demand. We became fast friends and a source of encouragement for each other which is needed in this industry. Allow me to add, i was impressed with not only his voice but his honesty and authenticity in an industry where alot of people sound alike and attempt to look alike. I brought him to Chicago and we captured the magic together again and i was feeling this duo vibe. In Chicago the two of us were so well received that i had to bring him into our budding musical family.
What are your hopes and ambitions ?
My hope is that i can reach people with my musical message. I write and sing that “U Cant Make Somebody Love You”, that “Life Goes On”, inspiring people to “Rise” and “Let Go”, inspiring people to love and celebrate love with “The Wedding Song (On This Day) and to remain “Forever United”. These are just a few of some of my song titles. Im most proud of the new cd asking for my girls around the world to love one another, to promote self love and accept each other and themselves on “Girls Unite”. Begging those contemplating suicide not to do it on “No Suicide”...My ambition is to license my music and have it used as a soundtrack to peoples lives so that they are singing my lyrics when no other words will do. To perform and/or write songs that touch people and reflect honest emotion no matter what that emotion may be. I write lyrics to mean something..not just to rhyme over a beat.
What new music are you digging right now ?
I’m of course digging Al Olive. Theres alot of great music out there such as Macy Gray’s new cd, Amp Fiddler, Ledisi,Maxwell, Janelle Monae, Dennis Ferrer “Hey Hey”, Melanie Fiona has a fantastic voice, Alicia Keys “Unthinkable” is im pretty much digging anyone that is writing and producing music thats genuine and not trying to fit into the mold or insult the public with gimmicks.
We hope to see you over in the UK sooner rather than later,thanks for taking some time out Nicole !

Saturday 17 July 2010


Freestylin' @ The Mark Addy Take Five Bank Holiday Sunday August 29th 2010
29 August at 5.00pm - Midnight 30 August at 00:00
Location The Mark Addy
Stanley Street Salford, Lancashire M3 5EJ Tel:0161 832 4080
Manchester, United Kingdom
Created by:
Colin Dimond, Janet Crowe, Paul GoldsmithShow all (10)
More info Freestylin' Take Five
Connossieur Jazz & Soul Vibes
BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAY 29TH AUGUST 2010 5pm till Midnight.

Following on from our first four party's in December 2009, February, May & June 2010.
We would like to invite back & thank all the fabulous people who supported us and made it such a fantastic night with a unique vibe.

Bringing to Manchester The Blackpool Luxury Soul Weekender Vibe
mixing the atmosphere from The Lounge and The Frodisia Sessions.
Further details at http://colincurtisconnection.blogspot...
Featuring from the Soulsorts Radio Show and Hilton Weekender
Roger Williams add to that Mr Tony Cooney the North Wests original
jazzy laughing policemen with his Frodisia jazz vibes.All knitted together by
Colin Curtis this looks like being the place to be on a sunday.Situated by the River Irwell this venue has a unique vibe and there is also some mighty fine food on offer.Expect everything From Soul,Jazzy Vibes,Soulful Dance & Funk !
The Brand New Freestylin' Radio Show airs on the first Saturday of each month 8pm - 10.00 pm with listen again features on Colin Curtis's blog Starpoint Radio
Tune in and join Colin Curtis with Tony Cooney 8pm till 10pm repeated wednesday 12th 3pm till 5pm
full podcast details to listen again to follow.
The NEW Freestylin' T-Shirts (much requested) will be available on the night !!

All the party's have been awesome and we hope you can join us for this episode !
Thanks for the support !!

Monday 12 July 2010


The post match warm down !! Massive respect to everybody who came for making this a CLASSIC "I was there !!" night !!! Electric Vibe with quality tunes !!

Sunday 11 July 2010


Darnell Kendricks and Phil Perry together after a recent gig !

Colin, this has been a wonderfully blessed week for me that I will never forget!
Performing at Chene Park openeing for Phil Perry and Pieces of A Dream was an awesome oppurtunity. I was featured at this real intmate spot in the Detroit area last nite called the Red Velvet Room, I had an awesome time, my band was soulfully awesome! Im still riding on a high! Working towards a few more gigs I got comming up along with Med Soul comming up in Spain! Of course I will continue to keep you posted!
Hows everything been in your world! i still cant wait to do Freestylin'

Friday 9 July 2010


Available Now @ Traxsource
Deep soulful house

Sophisticado Recordings presents Al Olive Beautiful stranger reworked by Sophisticado label head Vick Lavender.
Al Olive is the next big thing in the game his voice is almost magical,spiritual even and the track Beautiful stranger is a testement how this guys voice and sound is taking the game back to when singers were singers,along with the productions skills of Vick Lavender this has soul written all over it!

Beautiful stranger original version.
Frank Hames on all keys.
Lawerence peabody Ferrell on drums/percussion and Syngth bass.
Production by Frank Hames.
Lyrics written and performed by Al Olive.
Lead vocals performed by Al Olive.
Background vocals performed by Al Olive and Aundria Ferrell.

Beautiful stranger ( Vick Lavender's all soul mixes )
Frank Hames on all keys.
Lead vocals performed by Al Olive.
Background vocals performed by Al Olive & Aundria Ferrell
Brian doherty on live bass.
Mike Levin on sax and flute.
All drum programming by Vick Lavender.
For booking and or licensing please contact Sophisticado recordings at or
Production for the remix by Vick Lavender BMI
Engineered by Vick Lavender at Sophisticado studio's Chicago Ill

Beautiul stranger ( Abicahsole peaktime master mixes ).
All instruments by Abicahsole.
Mixed at Abicahsole studio's Chicago Ill

One of the hottest tracks on the scene over here at the moment is Al Olive's Slow Down available as a download on CdBaby this is the album mix,it is also available with Vick Lavender and Dolls Combers mixes on Traxsource.In the U.K. there have been remixes by Mark Jordan and Neil Tomo too.The good news for all of us is that this great new vocalist has a new album nearly ready to drop called Dreams.With all the attention he was getting coupled with my interest in all things Vick Lavender meant I had to catch up with Al for the lowdown !! So here we go !


Where were you born ?
I was born In San Bernadine, California. However my mom ended up moving when I was 3years old back to a little town called Jones Louisiana. Jones is a very, very small town. Its like, you would take a paved road for some miles; then that paved road turns into a gravel road; then that gravel road turns into a dirt road, then you would run into my grandfathers home. A farm. I had such a good time on that farm. We ended up moving from Jones Louisiana to a some what larger town called Crossett, Arkansas. That’s were I graduated high school.

What were your early musical influences ? My mom and her sisters and brothers. All were awesome singers. Outside of that I remember my Step Dad playing a number of different old school RnB and Blues records on the weekends. Among them would be great talents like: Temptations, The Ojays, Isley Brothers, Al Green, Al Jareau, Gladis Night and the Pipps, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. The list goes on and on. However the one artist that stuck with me was Luther Vandross. I remember loving the tone of his voice. The lyrics, subject matter, harmonies, and his delivery was mind blowing. On top of that..I didn't have to strain my voice to sing his songs. It was perfect. So, day and night I would list to him on my walk-man or beg my step dad to let me play a CD. It would be Luther Vandross.

Who are your favourite female singers ?
Gladis Night, Chaka K'han, Whitney Houston, Celin Dion, and I do dig Beyonce.

Talk a little about how you got into singing ?
Well, in my early years of High School, being around some of the guys that could sing. So I ended up introducing myself, very shyly, and asking if I could join their singing group. We did a Luther Vandross song...Wow.. I could believe it! an opportunity to do an artist I love. When I opened my mouth to sing... Next thing I know everyone including parents and teachers were standing up clapping!! It was an awesome feeling. I really went home and study A few years later I went off to college. I would go to the practice rooms in the music hall with a Bomb Box radio and practice more Luther and Freddie Jackson just keeping myself busy. College was kind of lonely for me at the time. One weekend I went home to Crossett and a guy I knew there introduced me to three other guys. He said Al, I am trying to put a group together. So we practiced days on end until harmonies were tight and our chemistry was awesome. We started opening for major acts at the time in Dallas,TX, and all across Arkansas. Til one day we decided to move to Detriot,Mi. We had to get a record deal there. Again we practiced and opened for a number of artist, however no record deal. Time past the group broke up and I ended up moving to Dallas. Still thinking there has to be a way to be successful. One particular day there was an outside festival going on with live music. I went to the musicians and asked if I could sing.. They look at each other and said...well uuhh. what do you know. I said anything by Luther Vandross. So they keyed up "So Amazing". I took the mic and sang the song. The Bass player, Rick Rigsby, said to me.. Man give me your number. I may have an opportunity coming up.. A couple of months past.. Then I received a call. Rick said to me. "Al" we are trying to put the band (Buster Brown Band) back together. Come out for try outs. I have been sing with the band for 4 great years now...

Where do you currently play your live gigs ?
Majority of the gigs we play are around the DFW or Dallas Ft. Worth areas restaurants can clubs. As well as private parties and receptions

Who else from the Indie Soul world today do you believe has potential ?
Way too many to name!! Nicole Mitchell..Awesome talented individual and friend. Chocklate Moore, Two Tones, Jennifer Perryman, Natural Change who are currently working on an album..and many, many more. I am just getting introduced to the House Music world..Wow!! There is a whole world that is like and under current just waiting for an opportunity. There is this stigma that Indie artist do not have quality material.. I absolutely beg to differ

Did you spend time in clubs as you grew up ?
No I didn't spend much time in clubs. My mother wasn't having that. I went out to dances and small events but not many clubs. In fact I didn't really start club hopping until I moved to Detroit in like the late 90's. So when I went out it was shocking, exciting, and very

How did you hook up with Vick Lavender in Chicago ?
Through a close friend Nicole Mitchell. Nicole had been working with Vick for some time. Well early this summer she was visiting Chicago working with Vick on her project. She said Vick, I have a guy that has this Luther thing going but he has his on vibe. You have to know Vick. He is forever working and if its not moving he's not in it. He said yeah yeah ok. So she played the album for him. Nicole said she could tell that he wasn't really So she told Vick, listen I know you didn't really listen to this music. Take the CD listen and give me a call. Later that week Nicole call me saying Vick called me cursing saying.. Get him on the!! So we have been working hard ever since. Great friend that Nicole. I love her dearly. Great person and friend Vick. I am learning a lot from him

You have a new album coming out soon,tell us about that ?
Yes!!! I am very excited. This is a 3yr peace of work that through a lot of blood sweat and tears, so to speak, has finally come to fruition. I was blessed to find some great musicians and vocalists. Absolutely top of their game to help me bring this to life. The link pin to it all is Frank Hames. Frank is an awesome musician and studio engineer. I would call Frank up and say, "hey..I have an idea for a song.." Frank would say, "well stop by tomorrow morning and lets paint that picture..".. love him for that. The Album in laced with stories of love, opportunities for love, heart aches, I feel it is an album that will help set the mood for a romantic evening with that special someone, when your entertaining guess, or riding in your car trying to wind down. I took my time in writing the lyrics so that once the listener gets past the groove of the song, they will have some great meaningful words that they will get caught up in. Love is universal. No matter how you wrap it up. Its still love..

Your music is also being remixed by house guys like Dolls Combers etc how did that all work out ?
Mr. Vick Lavender! I wouldn't have had the opportunity with out him.

Slow Down is getting plenty of attention now were you surprised how quickly it built? one word...YES!..and to be truthful with you. I still don't have a grasp of how people feel about it. I have had my head to the grinding stone looking and working ahead to the next song, album. I hear it..but it hasn't sank in yet. I am so humbled by the DJ's response to it. I have much love and respect for them. They know what will move the crowd and I don't think they will play anything that will kill the crowd. So when I see on Facebook or Traxsource or wherever that they want to add to their play list.. I jump around my apartment like.. Thank you God for the chance and favor. I realize this is fueled by the you know I am grateful.. I just haven't witnessed it for myself. This has been a long road and a lot of hard work and my heart is in this work. I believe when I do see it.. I would probably walk away in to a private area and shed some tears.

Is the interest as high in the US as it is in the UK ?
The build is very slow. Simply because its harder to get things played here. Once someone hears it they love it. However the move is hard. It's getting great review and play in what is considered the Mid West.. Places like Chicago, Detroit, Ohio, and some parts of California. This is simply because of Vick Lavender working as hard as he does. I can't wait to get to the UK!!

What's next for Al Olive ?
I am starting to work on the next album. Writing songs. I have to keep writing songs. I don't won't to stop the momentum. Also because of the response to my work so far, i would love to visit UK, Canada, and Italy. I have never been there for starters, and I would love to meet the DJ's and people I have spoken to only through email and txt...So travel!...

List your Top 10 Songs of all time ?

Anyone who had a Heart by Luther Vandross ; By Your Side by Sade; Adore You by Prince ; We are One by Maze Ft. Franky Beverly ; Still In Love by Al Green ; Sailing by Christopher Cross ; Saturday Night by Earth Wind and Fire ; Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong ; Trouble Man by Marvin Gay ; For the love of you by Isley Brothers

Wednesday 7 July 2010


Come and join us THIS SATURDAY JULY 10TH to relive the Jazz / Funk/Soul memories from one of Manchesters greatest clubs from the 70's and 80's !!

Rafters Reunion pt2 featuring Colin Curtis, Mike Shaft & Hewan Clarke
Party - Reunion
Start Time:
Saturday, 10 July 2010 at 22:00
End Time:
Sunday, 11 July 2010 at 03:00
The Band On The Wall, The Northern Quarter, 25 Swan St, Manchester, M4 5JZ

Rafters on Oxford Street Manchester ran
From 1978-1983 Rafters became the destination club in the centre of Manchester for Black Music.
It was also one of the original venues that created the whole Jazz / Funk movement in club culture
in the U.K.
During this period the main Dj's were Colin Curtis John Grant and Mike Shaft ! then came Hewan Clarke.
The connection between the club and raising of musical awareness in Manchester for black music
was huge as was borne out by the sales in what was Manchester's premier record store back then
Spin Inn on Cross Street.The clubs reputation was further enhanced by Mike Shaft's iconic Soul
Shows on Picadilly Radio. The combined effect brought thousands of black music fans flocking in
from all over the country.
Music included Roy Ayers,Lonnie Liston Smith,Pleasure,Kleeer,Maze,Jeff Lorber,Grover Washington,
Whispers,Keni Burke,John Klemmer,Quincy Jones,Rufus,Stephanie Mills,Kinsman Dazz,Brothers Johnson,
Bootsy Collins,Willie Bobo,Teena Marie,Sharon Redd,Terumasa Hino,Loose Ends,Narada Michael Walden,
Paulinho DaCosta,Galaxy,Brick,Donald Byrd,Jean Carne,Dennis Edwards,BB&Q,High Fashion,
Lakeside,Alexander O'Neal,Steve Arrington,Slave,Melissa Morgan,Ronn Matlock,Luther Vandross,
James Brown,Crown Heights Affair,War,Active Force,Fatback Band,Cedar Walton,Neil Larson
and hundreds of other great Soul,Funk & Jazz Artists.
Join us to celebrate this Golden Era of Manchester clubbing on our second Original Rafter's Revival
at the newly refurbished Band On The Wall Manchester !!!!
tickets on sale now from or call 0845 2 500 500
Confirmed guests

Tuesday 6 July 2010


Now here is another great reason to spend the whole of the August Bank Holiday Weekend in Manchester. Hole yourself up in one of the city centre's great hotel offers and on the Saturday night take in the great soul memories from the days of Parker's in Manchester featuring Richard Searling Dean & Mike Stephens then do some Sunday shopping get some lunch and join us down at Freestylin' @ The Mark Addy Manchester with Take Five featuring Tony Cooney,Roger Williams and Colin Curtis.
Got to be a Bank Holiday Winner !!!!!!

M+M and The Band on the Wall
brings you the one you've been asking for...
"Wow! its here at last"
All the top tunes from this legendary Manchester venue,
the ultimate seductive soul and mellow jazzy retro rare grooves!
The date for your diary -
9.30pm - 3 am
Parkers anthems on the original labels played by the original DJs
DEAN JOHNSON and RICHARD SEARLING plus our very special

ADVANCE TICKETS @ £10 , or £12 on door (subject to availability)
from or call the box office: 0845 500 500

Hear tunes from the likes of: