The Soul Movers is a band borne of opportunity. For the first time in 30 years Australian guitarist Deniz Tek (and later keyboardist Pip Hoyle – both of Radio Birdman fame) had time to ‘fool around’ with the music that had been their passion from the very start. Lizzie Mack, having performed years earlier with Pip around some Jazz traps in Sydney, came up with a bunch of songs, which tapped into some classic soul themes: lost love, untrustworthy love and new beginnings. With Hothouse studios in St Kilda offering a slot to put down a first single The Soul Movers came to life almost overnight. “Our first single was put together over a weekend and then the album “On the IN side” was written, recorded and mastered in 17 days only a few months later. It all happened so fast we had to hang on for the ride”
This provides a clue to the appeal of the Soul Movers music. With strong soul roots the band has managed to imbue their music with a fresh, unselfconscious approach to the classic soul themes, delivering music which speaks directly to personal experience and with a rockin’ rhythm that ‘any ole fool’ can dance to.
As Lizzie Mack explains: “’Piece O Me’ set the standard and vein for a lot of the songs on the album. It has such a dark tint – for me anyway - as a song, and being the first to arrive, I was careful not to get too close to the space it holds with the other songs. Thankfully that expression of loss and longing came out so completely in ‘Piece O Me’ that I didn’t feel the need to revisit the theme again.”
“When we set out to put the 12 songs together we wanted to take the listener on a ride through relationships; from the first kiss, to the blind, transportative passion of feeling like you can leap tall buildings to halting emotions like betrayal and suspicion and then the journey to the depths of despair when it all lies in ruins”. ‘Few Good Reasons’, ‘Hold Me’, ‘Not With Her’, (the cover) ‘Dead’ and ‘Change’ are the result.
When it came to finding some covers that would mesh with the theme we threw the net fairly wide, looking for classics that hadn’t been covered to our knowledge. Sugar Pie De Santos ‘positive and personal’ feel really nailed it for us and she provided the bright red, uplifting feel our song palette was missing. ‘Carolyn Sullivan’s version of ‘Dead’ took us to a still, ‘Beat’ graveyard and who can go past Aretha. As Jazz singer Julie London had been a big inspiration to Lizzie who shares some similar tones and inflections in her voice. Other influences include Etta James.
The Soul Movers have had the luxury of hiring various ‘top flite’ musicians around the world to promote their first album. Bassists Andy Newman, Craig Harnath and Bob Brown – all music veterans - join forces with drummers Calvin Welsh, Brett Wolfenden and Steve Brown and Keyboardists Ron Sanchez and Pip Hoyle offer the opportunity for the core combination of Deniz and Lizzie to spread their sound around. “It’s great getting to work with similarly minded musicians we have used in other lineups and who all share a love of soul,” Deniz explains.
Of Interest: Soul Movers Review Shindig 2010
Fronted by the sultry, soulful siren Lizzie Mack and Radio Birdmen Deniz Tek and Pip Hoyle, the perfectly named Movers deliver a refreshing combination of soulful country and twangy, rockabilly blues. They combine well-chosen covers with sharp, booty-kicking originals. A party atmosphere pervades 'Baby I Love You', while Mack struts her stuff on the funky, 'Slip In Mules', with Tek's gnarly soloing exuding the swamp gas aroma of John Forgerty.
Frank Bennett adds a sinewy, jazzy sax to the self-pity party 'Dead' and the painfully wobbly-kneed 'Hold Me' can only lead to a compliance. A moaning Mack and a wailing Bennett ooze sensual sexuality on 'Low And Slow' and the single, 'Piece O' Me' could have been an outtake from the Dusty In Memphis sessions.
Fans of Evie Sands and Aretha to Holly Golightly and Dusty should take note.
See the Soul Movers' discography HERE