My Favourite Letters
2005: Tru Thoughts TRUCD082
I had never heard (nor heard of) Alice Russell until July 2007, and when I first heard her I was sure I was listening to some mighty early-70s American soul singer whose career had been overshadowed by those of others. It was a bit of a shock, and certainly a thrill, to discover that I was wrong on all counts: shes a contemporary, British, white singer/songwriter, and what I was hearing was a small concert being broadcast live by the still-fantastic Parisian radio station Radio Nova (101.5) (via their website).
That concert, somewhere in France on 19 July 2007, was performed by her and only a few other musicians (guitarists and a violinist)I recall specifically that they didnt even have a drummer, for some reason that didnt sound intentional. But my god, what a show!! Russell was blisteringly hot, roaring some of the best soul singing Ive ever heard. When she and the guitarists hammered home the end of Munkaroo, I dove into action to hunt down anything I could about this singer and to get me a copy of whatever shed released that had that song in particular; the live version outstripped the one on this CD, but even so you can get a taste of the heat and power as her husky pipes chirp and wail throughout the jumpy ride.
Her multitracked vocal arrangements intrigue me. This is an album to study and savor over time and many, many fine drinks as strong and tasty as it is itself.
Comments © 2007 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.