Martha High: Singing For The Good Times (Blind Faith Records)

Former James Brown backing vocalist grabs the spotlight.

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Martha High first came to our attention for her articulate commentary on the excellent James Brown DVD Mr Dynamite: High sang with Brown for decades yet never won the solo success other Brown vocalists (Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson, Yvonne Fair) did.

This looks to be changing, as Singing For The Good Times is a strong old-school soul album. The 11 original songs here – especially Always Worth The Pain and I’m A Woman – are well-crafted and a classy band keep things cooking like it’s 1968, while High sings as if her very life depends on it. The only fault we can find in this dynamic album is that nothing quite matches Brown at his best (a tall order, we know).