Smoove & Turell
“It’s a badly kept secret that a lot of people believe John’s heading for future stardom – with a voice with the timbre of the greats of Soul music. Who could deny that?
For Smoove and Turrell, their time is coming, and soon.” Snowboy
Since the launch of their debut album Antique Soul in 2009 things have started accelerating very fast indeed for the Geordie duo Smoove & Turrell. From being a complete unknown to headlining stages to over 10000 people at Glastonbury, singer John Turrell has seen his life change dramatically since their first single I Can’t Give You Up became one of the most sought after 7” releases of the year - discussed endlessly on mod and northern soul forums with the final copies of the 500 run selling for north of £150 on ebay.
Producer Smoove, with a longer career behind him, exudes the confidence of someone who has seen it all before. Signed as a solo artist to the legendary Acid Jazz imprint in its heyday as well as various major label deals he has the confidence of a world class producer who has finally found a world class lyricist and singer to write with.
A quick re-cap on the story so far. Having completed recording of their debut album Antique Soul their live agent sent the finished copy to Jalapeno Records who took one listen and offered them a deal within an hour of the demo arriving.
Singles I Can’t Give You Up, You Don’t Know and Beggarman scored two Records of the Week on Radio 2 and a playlist on 6 Music between them and set the boys up for a
summer of touring culminating in a triumphant Big Chill show before the boys retired to their Newcastle studio to record the songs they had been writing all summer and plot the next move.
During the year they were promoting their debut album Antique Soul, John’s incredible blues vocals had not gone unnoticed and he received offers to moonlight as the singer for Ashley Beedle’s MAVIS project and as singer for the Fantasy Funk Band – a live band put together by long time Smoove & Turrell supporter and all round top funker Craig Charles. With the support of Smoove - John spread his prodigious talent as far and wide as possible in 2010 playing with James Taylor , Dr Rubberfunk and Kraak & Smaak as well as the collaborations above in order to draw as much attention to the next Smoove & Turrell album as possible.
And so after a winter and spring hibernation in the studio – Smoove & Turrell are back with their second album Eccentric Audio. All questions about a difficult second album are brushed aside with the first listen which shows John Turrell at the top of his game lyrically and vocally while Smoove delivers a timeless production that references but never mimics the greats of soul, hip hop, jazz and rhythm and blues. More focused than their first album, tracks like Money are influenced by the politically aware black music of the 70’s while the incredibly melancholy Wasted Man owes as much to songwriters like Nick Drake and trip hop like Massive Attack as it does to Funk & Soul.
First single Slow Down sees John deliver a powerful vocal that evokes the ratpack at their height (assuming Frank, Dean & the boys had lived through acid house and a youth growing up in the North east that is), Broke delivers a riff that De la Soul would have been proud of and Higher is a full tilt Northern Soul stomper. Never ones to forget about what their fans want – live favourites Let Yourself Go, Hard Work and It’s the Falling In Love make sure that this is an album you could put on repeat at a party.
An accomplished DJ who makes his living by making people dance, Smoove’s hand is all over the album sequence which builds and drops, ebbs and flows until as the final bar rings out the listener knows they have just been part of Something Special.