Billie Ray Martin – ‘The Soul Tapes’ Album (Produced by Jon Tiven) – Sonnenstahl Records

Now here is an inspired project from one of Europe’s best loved contemporary soulful voices, Billie Ray Martin. ‘The Soul Tapes’ sees Billie put down her electronic dance tools and spectacularly journeys into the world of classic soul and rhythm and blues, delivering an album strongly influenced by the legendary Memphis label Hi-Records. Aside of some brilliant covers including the Rolling Stones classic ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ and Ann Peebles’ ‘One Way Street’, together with NYC producer Jon Tiven, Billie has crafted a plethora of timeless soul music. Highlights include the opening track ‘Your Ghost Is Right Behind Me’ with it’s country undertones; ‘Strongheaded Woman’ (the first single from the album) a heartfelt tale of a Las Vegas slot machine addict seemingly meeting her Rhinestone Cowboy; the upbeat country / soul outing ‘The Fool You’re Looking For’; and the chic yet melancholic tones of ‘The Glittering Gutter’ that speaks of the Hamburg’s red light district. First class!

5 out of 5

Reviewed by Ratha Gud