Once again I am in sunny climes! I must say Portugal really suits me. I come here (as you know) every summer and although I’m always “learning” something – a new CD or an up-coming tour, I can feel the peace of this old farm house, especially as it’s now surrounded by vines. In this pressurised world that we all live in, it’s great having a place that lets me get away from it all. I hope you have a little corner on the planet that you feel you can escape to?
“Soulicious” the album is ready to go! I’m listening to it as I write this. I am planning to sing 6 or 7 songs on the tour and though “Soulicious” is where I am at this moment in time, I can never forget (nor do I want to) how I got to this point in my career, so I’ll be singing loads of songs that paved the way for me. There’ll be new faces for you to look out for this time. (eight backing vocals – 4 guys and 4 girls, 3 brass players, and a 6 member dance troupe).
Among the faces to look out for are 4 of the singers who dueted with me on “Soulicious”:
Freda Payne – of “Band of Gold“ and the song we will sing is “Saving a Life“.
Percy Sledge – who doesn’t remember “When a Man Loves a Woman“? We are singing “I’m Your Puppet” – one of the four ”oldies” on the album.
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., who were known as the 5th Dimension (Aquarius, Let the Sunshine In) and we are doing a lesser known oldie called “Oh How Happy“.
Lamont Dozier, who produced 11 of the 15 Soulicious tracks, will sing one of his own songs. In case you didn’t know, he wrote with the “Brothers Holland” and between them, notched up 54 number 1′s and something like 120 top 10 hits. We will sing “She Looked Good” (which he wrote for me!)
I am also looking forward to performing with James Ingram “Just Once” who joins the line up of US guests and finally, Britain’s own Jaki Graham “Could it Be I’m Falling in Love” completes the line up.
So, look out…here we come!!
I am heading back to the US in September as I have once again been invited to the American Open. Who’s a lucky boy?? I am always so grateful when my invitation arrives, and feel very privileged to be there.
Before I sign off, I want to say thank you to all who came to the charity evening I performed at here in Portugal. I appreciate you being so supportive and allowing me to sit amongst you all and be part of the event. That rarely happens, and I really enjoyed it. I hope you did too? The evening was in aid of an orphanage and also hospice care, so basically what we did was to make it possible for some children to have a happy start to life and some folks to exit life with love and dignity. Many thanks!
Have a great summer and see you in October!