John Turrell – The Kingmaker
Not since Mick Hucknall sang The Money’s Too Tight To Mention has a British soul vocalist summed up the feelings of the masses as well as John Turrell does on the opening lines of his debut album The Kingmaker.
“I believe in nothing more than those who got and those who ain’t. Your house to the poor house, the line you cross if you can’t pay”. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, because we all feel that vulnerability and no one is immune, but John growls, aches, sings and pleads with us till we get past it and join him in his defiance. It is an album that references a diverse set of influences; Springsteen for ‘honest man’ song content, Heaven 17 (Penthouse & The Pavement era) for social conscience and stylistically the heartfelt soul of the industrial landscapes of the USA as expressed by artists like James Brown and Sam Cooke.
The Kingmaker has afforded John the opportunity to really explore the soul and blues roots of his extraordinary and critically acclaimed voice. John initially emerged as one half of the band Smoove and Turrell who have been releasing music since 2009 and their third album is due later in 2013. Their debut album Antique Soul followed by Eccentric Audio attracted the attention of the great and the good. They were play listed on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music and championed by LA hipsters KCRW. They played to 10,000 punters at Glastonbury and supported soul legends like Nile Rogers, Chic and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas.
John has delivered twelve stunning raw vocal performances on emotionally searing tracks like The Temper (“I’m the temper, how you gonna like me now?”) and Low (“Said you regret it, please don’t sweat it. I have no time for automated replies”) and the album’s breathtaking closer Home. There is a more minimal approach on tracks like Day In Day Out, which is the audio equivalent of a L.S Lowry landscape and the same philosophical ache radiates out of These Things, that is the most melodic documentation of a drunk returning home in the history of recorded music (“I smoke because I know it will get me in the end”). Then there is the Stevie Winwood/Robert Palmeresque transatlantic soul of tracks like the debut single Wrong Time and Eating Stones, plus the Stax inspired soul of the title track The Kingmaker.
Label: The Big Chill Label
Catalogue Number: FACTOR36
Release Date: 8th September 2013