Brian Goucher

Brian Goucher’s Best of 2019 (In no order):

A Different Sound – Eclectic (Chamber Nickel)
Bastards Of Soul ‘The Waiting Time’ (Eastwood Music Group 45)
Arthur Adams ‘Tear The House Down’ from Here to Make You Feel Good (Cleopatra Blues)
Black & Blues “Chains” (BGP/Flying Dutchman 45 – Unissued early 70s)
Gloria (Rosebud) Black ‘Would You Believe’ (Odav 45 – Unissued Slow Version)
Kelly Finnigan ‘Impressions Of You’ from The Tales People Tell (Colemine)
Sugar Ray Rayford ‘My Cards Are On The Table’ from Somebody Save Me (Forty Below)
The Jay Vons ‘Maybe I Loved You’ from The Word (La Castanya)
Little Anne ‘What Should I Do (Alt Take)’ from Detroit’s Secret Soul (Kent)
Roland Johnson Feat. Emily Wallace ‘Still Here’ from Set Your Mind Free (Blue Lotus)
Laville ‘The Truth’ from The Wanderer (Acid Jazz)
Beres Hammond ‘I Will Take You There’ from Never Ending (VP Music)
Miles Davis Feat. Randy Hall ‘I Love What We Make Together’ from Rubberband (Warner/Rhino)
The Brand New Heavies with Laville ‘Dontcha Wanna’ from TBNH (Acid Jazz)
Menahan Street Band Feat. Saundra Williams ‘There’s A New Day Coming’ (Dunham 45)
Calvin Richardson – Gold Dust (Shanachie)
J. Red The Nephew – Platinum Soul (Soulmop Music)
Reggie Boone – Made Of Love (Moma Moma Music)
Authentics Feat. Ronnie Walker ‘No One Will Ever Know’ (MD 45 Unissued early 70s)
Cool Million Feat. Boogie Black & A.Tobin ‘Save Your Love’ from Stronger (Sedsoul)

It all started for me at the age of 9ish when I played purely by accident the ‘B’ side of “Baby Love” by The Supremes, as “Ask Any Girl” washed over me and the now familiar hairs on the back of the neck made me realise I was listening to something that stirred feelings within me, I think it’s fair to say that I haven’t been the same since.
In July of 2016 I turned 61 and it’s been one hell of an emotional ride. I have hobbies but it’s fair to say that soul music is an obsession with me. Today with 27000 records and cd’s here at home I’m still searching daily for the next fix. I’ve DJd too, purely by accident, all over the country and in Europe, guested on radio all by request of course; I don’t think I’ve ever put myself forward for any of that.
The music comes first every time, I still venture out although after over 40 years of travelling up and down the country I’m a bit picky. What’s the point in me travelling 200 miles just to hear what I have here at home, so always check the jocks and go from there?
My own personal choice has always been the slower side of soul, the deeper the vocal the better, I went through the normal channels of collecting Motown, Stax, Atlantic, British then import releases. Reggae has also featured heavily in my life. Birmingham has been good to me with a myriad of second-hand shops, The Diskery, Reddingtons. In the very early days I had to jump on the bus to get to the big supermarkets that always had records for sale, Woolworths was another favourite. There was also a network of shops that sold records as an addition usually in a wooden Schweppes box near the till.
I am of course committed to vinyl and right now we are having a resurrection with some choice sides finding an outlet onto vinyl. Having said that MP3s are the scourge of the modern-day but it’s also an avenue to collect some choice tunes. I don’t find writing easy as I didn’t have a good education. I’ve often said my education began the day I left school at 14, by which time Otis Redding had stolen any interest I had in education by then. I’ve had some distractions on the way, flirted with Slade purely for the energy and Noddy Holders vocals, God that man put his all into a vocal. But soul & Reggae were always there and always will be.
Today I search out rare soul pieces – it’s just the way my collecting has developed. I run the Jim Wray Lounge at Soul Essence Soul Weekenders, a room dedicated to the slower side of soul and my Sunday Soul Sessions at the Courtyard Stanwick reflect that sound, numbers are increasing too, Deep, Sweet, Low-rider nestle alongside Northern, Funk, 2 Step and Rare Groove, my own taste really. The Courtyard is about an hour from Brum; love to see some of you there. It probably comes as no surprise to any of the regulars my love of all things Southern reflects what I review for UK Vibe, I find the vast majority of urban contemporary black music has had any feeling stripped out of it.
Away from music, I’m a huge piss taker so ‘Mock the Week’, ‘Have I Got News’ etc. are compulsive viewing, sadly I can see the funny side of just about anything that happens, not very PC but then I don’t wear sandals, cords and have hair on my face so that’s okay. Never felt the need to have dreads either, how ridiculous does that look on white people, I’ve never understood that at all. I will shut up for now.

Soul On!


Brian Goucher’s Best of 2018 (In no order):

1. Walter “Wolfman” Washington – My Future Is My Past (Anti-)
Review here

2. J.P. Bimeni and The Black Belts ‎– Free Me (Tucxone)
Review here

3. Charles Bradley – Black Velvet (Dunham/Daptone)
Review here

4. Peabo Bryson – Stand for Love (Perspective/Caroline)
Review here

5. Willie Hightower – Out of the Blue (ACE/SoulTrax)
Review here

6. The Suffers – Everything Here (Shanachie)
Review here

7. Mark IV – Signs Of A Dying Love (Cordial Recordings)
Review here

8. Ural Thomas and The Pain – The Right Time (Tender Loving Empire)

9. Show Tyme – Love Truth (W.A.R. Media)

10. Eric Debonair McNair ‎– This Could Be Love (Self-released)
Review here

11. Darrian Ford – New Standards (Self-released)
Review here

12. Clif Payne – Too (Soulmusic)
Review here

13. Jr. Thomas and the Volcanos – Rockstone (Colemine)

14. Crystal Thomas – Drank of My Love (Gooba Sac Music Publishing)
Review here

15. Ms Zeno the Mojo Queen – Back in Love (Blue Lotus Recordings)
Review here

16. NayCole – Cause and Effect (Soulmop Music Group)

17. Tucka – Working With The Feeling (Hit Nation)

18. Roy Roberts – Back in Love (Rock House)
Review here

19. Isaiah Sharkey ‎– Love Life Live (Self-released)

20. Cornell C.C. Carter – One Love (CDC Productions)

…and Kevin Burt “Thank you” from his album ‘Heartland and Soul’ on Little Village Foundation records (The finest mp3 to surface this year)

Brian Goucher’s Best of 2017:

1. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Soul of a Woman [FULL ALBUM] (Daptone) Review here

2. Nicole Willis & The UMO Jazz Orchestra “One in a Million” From the album ‘My Name is Nicole Willis’ (Persephone)

3. Soul Scratch “Kiss Me in the Morning” From the album ‘Pushing Fire’ (Colemine) Review here

4. Calvin Richardson “Treat Her Right” From the album ‘All or Nothing (Shanachie) Review here

5. Floyd Robinson Project “Don’t you Know” From the album ‘Here to Stay’ (Private Press) Review here

6. Bags “Hey Girl” 45 (It’s Soul Time)

7. The Flying Stars of Brooklyn, NY “Live On” 45 (Colemine)

8. Social Lovers “Drop Me a Line” 45 (Potions Music)

9. The Jay Vons “Did You See Her” 45 (Wick)

10. O.C. Tolbert “(Marriage Is Only) A State Of Mind” 45 (Remined)

11. Soulnaturals “Gotta Get My Hands On Some Good Loving” From the album ‘Love Says Yes!’ (British Soul Standard Ltd) Review here

12. Sugaray Rayford “Don’t Regret a Mile” From the album ‘The World That We Live In’ (Blind Faith) Review here

13. Baba Soul & The Professors Of Funk “I’m So Lucky” From the album ‘Chronotapes’ (So Real International) Review here

14. Don Bryant “It Was Jealousy” From the album ‘Don’t Give Up On Love’ (Fat Possum)

15. Gene Jackson “You’re Gonna Get Hurt” From the album ‘1963’ (Blue Lotus Recordings) Review here

16. Clarence Dobbins “I’ll Go Crazy” From the album ‘Soul Blues Uprising’ (Private Press) Review here

17. Shaila Prospere “Family” From the album ‘Back to Life’ (Rhythm)

18. Miss Portia “Ain’t Go Work” From the album ‘All My Feelings’ (Ross Music Group LLC)

19. Vibration Black Finger “Love & Hate” GUADI EP (Enid)

20. Lee Fields – Let’s Talk It Over [FULL ALBUM] (Angle3) Review here

Brian Goucher’s Best of 2016:

1. Ray Greene & Friends – That’s What You Mean To Me (Strokeland) From the album ‘Nature Doesn’t Legislate’

2. Earl Thomas – North Country Blue (Earl Thomas Music) From the album ‘Crow’

3. Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – Parts of a Man (Silver Street) From the album ‘Running From Love’

4. Dwayne Scivally – Point of No Return (Tate Music Group) From the album ‘Stay Until the Morning’

5. Cornell C.C. Carter – Where Do We Go (CDC Productions) From the album ‘In The Moment’

6. William Bell – This is Where I Live (Stax) From the album ‘This is Where I Live’ Review here

7. Brian Owens & Deacons of Soul – Prayer for My Children (Sweet Soul) From the album ‘Beautiful Day’ Review here

8. Adrena – He Won’t Leave (Bone40) From the album ‘Better Days’ Review here

9. Durand Jones & The Indicators – Is it Any Wonder (Colemine) From the album ‘Durand Jones & The Indicators’

10. St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Burning Rome (Sony) From the album ‘Sea of Noise’

11. James Hunter Six – Something’s Calling (Daptone) 45 – Also from the album ‘Hold On’ Review here

12. Gilley Wiltz – Who’s That Woman (Harmonic Life) From the album ‘Rise of the Sleeping Giant’ Review here

13. Lee Fields & The Expressions – Special Night [FULL ALBUM] (Big Crown) Review here

14. Charles Bradley – Changes [FULL ALBUM] (Daptone)

15. JJ Thames – Hold Me (DeChamp) From the album ‘Raw Sugar’ Review here

16. Rachel Modest – Forbidden Love (Ata) 45

17. Benjamin & The Right Direction – Light of my Life (Palmetto St) 45

18. Big Lee Dowell – What I Done Wrong (Cannonball) 45

19. Roland Johnson – Your’s & Mine (Blue Lotus Recordings) From the album ‘Imagine This’ Review here

20. DeRobert & The Half-Truths – Ask of Me (City Bump) EP

Brian Goucher’s Best of 2015:

1. Jill Scott – You Don’t Know (Blues Babe/Atlantic)

2. Leon Bridges – River (Columbia) Review here

3. Mighty Mocambos with Lee Fields – Where Do We Go From Here (Mocambos)

4. Diane Shaw – Today I Started Loving You (Mecca)

5. Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens – Bound For The Promised Land (Daptone)

6. Nicole Willis & The Investigators – One In A Million (Timmion) Review here

7. Wee Willie Walker – I Don’t Remember Loving You (Little Village Foundation) Review here

8. Tad Robinson – Love Is A Winner (Severne) Review here

9. Mr. Sipp – Tonight (Malaco) Review here

10. The R&R Soul Orchestra – I’m Gonna Tell Her feat. Onaje Allan Gumbs (The American R&B company)

11. Grace Love & the True Loves – Times Like These (Private Press)

12. Lyfe Jennings – I Love You (RAL/Sony)

13. Jason Nelson – Way Maker (Private Press)

14. Vasti Jackson – I’m Still In Love With You (VJM)

15. Bobby Warden – Pure And Simple Love (Nyota)

16. Masta – What Am I Supposed To Do (Uni-Global) Review here

17. Stone Foundation – Beverley (The Turning Point Recording Organisation)

18. Van Morrison & Bobby Womack – Some Peace Of Mind (Exile Productions/RCA)

19. Billy Price & Otis Clay – Somebody’s Changing My Sweet Baby’s Mind (Bonedog/VizzTone)

20. Joyce Elaine Yuille – It’s Madness (Schema) Reviews here

Astral Travelling Since 1993