DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

CD Picks: Strange Love/Sweet Love

Posted in CD Picks by darielb on May 18, 2011

Strange or Sweet?

No matter what your leanings, there’s something to love on both of these new CDs: Strange Love by Roy Roberts and Sweet Love from the Holiday Band.
Roy Roberts
Strange Love
Ocean Beach Records (2011)
Genre: Soul-Blues

When it comes to soul-blues, Greensboro, N.C. artist Roy Roberts is one of the smoothest, coolest, classiest around, and I expect this latest offering to bring him even more superlatives.  The ten-track recording is classic Roy Roberts, showing off – among other things – his songwriting talents on all ten tracks.  Vocals range from funky to sultry and back again. The Mofo Horns section is just killer.

The opener, “My Love Bone,” is a shout out from a man to the woman who owns his heart, and other favored organs. The Cray-esque “We Still Together,”  with its nod to “I Slipped, Tripped and Fell In Love,” Roberts’ award-winning R&B tune from 2004, is sure to be a hit in the shag market. The title track, also reminiscent of Robert Cray stylings, showcases Roy’s very apt vocal abilities. “I Can’t Wait” is worth the wait. But, I’d pick up a copy today!

Players on the CD include: Roy Roberts (vocals, guitar, Hammond organ, keys), A.J. Diggs (bass, rhythm guitar), Chuck Cotton (drums), Eric Callands (piano, Hammond organ), Reggie Wall (background vocals on  “A Woman Needs Love”), The Mofo Horns: Rusty Smith (trumpet, trombone), Scott Adair (tenor, baritone sax), Eddie Blair (additional sax solos). Strange Love was produced and mixed by Roy Roberts and David Seward. Engineering/ mastering: David Seward. Recorded at Rock House Studio.
The Holiday Band
Sweet Love
Green Dot Discs (2011)
Genre: Beach-Blues


Holiday Band, for those of you outside the Carolinas, is a topnotch variety band that tours the southeast performing a range of bluesy pop, funk and Carolina R&B, better known as beach music.

Sweet Love, the band’s new ten-track CD features a tasty mix of covers and original tunes penned by band members Mike Taylor and Duane Neese.   The opening track, currently on several beach charts and a favorite with fans, is “She Sure Got Away With My Heart,”  written by country writing team Walt Aldridge and Tom Brasfield.

“We always get a lot of requests for ‘Don’t Play That Song,’ so we decided to do the Aretha Franklin version It was a chance to show off our horn section,” says band leader Mike Taylor.

“Someone Like You,” (Van Morrison) with lead vocals by  Taylor is a hugely successful track on the disc, and definitely one of my favorites.

“I love the arrangement,” says Taylor. “If you listen to the piano line, it’s almost like a Bruce Hornsby lick.”

Taylor and Neese wrote the title track about six years ago. It was originally recorded by the Castaways. “They never  pushed it that much,” adds Taylor, “ so we recorded ‘Sweet Love’ ourselves, and it’s become a real signature song for Duane [lead vocals].”

Also included on the disc is “Jukebox,” another Taylor/ Neese tune, which won a 2010 CBMA award for Best Blues Song.

Players on Sweet Love include: The Holiday Band: Mike Taylor (vocals, guitar), Bill Ward (drums), Duane Neese (vocals, trombone), Bob Martin (saxophone), Doug Neese (bass, vocals), Mike Neese (vocals, guitar). Additional musicians: Robyn Springer (background vocals), Mark Stallings (keyboards), Rick Murray (drums), Tim Gordon  (saxophone), Brad Wilcox (trumpet), Ben Shaw (trumpet), Keith Johnson, (trombone). Producers: Tim Eaton, Mark Stallings & Mike Taylor. Engineered by Tim Eaton & Mark Stallings at Studio East, Charlotte, N.C. Also recorded, mixed & mastered at Studio East.

This has been a great week for music. Strange and sweet, just like me.

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