The Soul Tapes ~ CD ~ Billie Ray Martin
Billie Ray Martin describes herself as “a kid from Hamburg’s red-light district, who wanted to be a soul singer, but ended up playing repetitive machine music, while still trying to be a soul singer". Billie has never been easy to categorise. Clearly a soul singer, her career however has seen her mostly as a pioneer of house and electronic music, most notably her groundbreaking work with Electribe 101 and her seminal hit “Your Loving Arms”. Martin's 2001 album ‘18 Carat Garbage’ had found her in Memphis, recording with Al Green's and Aretha Franklin’s musicians, then adding cutting edge electronic sounds and textures to the production once back in Hamburg. ‘The Soul Tapes’ is the natural conclusion and a ‘first’ for Billie: no electronic music this time. Billie realised her long-held dream of recording an album that is equally influenced by Hi-Records (Al Green, Ann Peebles, Willie Mitchell) as it is by ’60s garage records. It is also not devoid of a certain country twang, and even Bo Diddley peeks through the door on one song. Booked into New York’s 900 Broadway Studio, Billie and producer/writer Jon Tiven were thrilled to work with world famous drummer Simon Kirke amongst others. Jon’s credits include albums produced for Wilson Pickett, Bobby Womack and Willie Nelson as well as numerous awards and Grammy nominations.