ROY YOUNG
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ROY YOUNG

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Jul
21
ROY YOUNG @ MAIN STAGE - Arezzo Italia Wave Love Festival

Tuscany/Florence, Not Applicable, Italy

Tuscany/Florence, Not Applicable, Italy

Jul
14
ROY YOUNG @ Azrieli Amphitheatre

Tel Aviv, Not Applicable, Israel

Tel Aviv, Not Applicable, Israel

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Music

Press


Boy, was this a surprise! I really didn't know what to expect from Roy Young on his CD, Memphis. Here's a Jamaican born singer that was discovered while performing in Tel Aviv, Israel, and it was decided to bring him to Memphis to record with the legendary Willie Mitchell in his Royal Studios. What came out of this unusual partnership was a quite personal and unique recording. Though it has a Memphis soul sound, it is much, much more.

It is hard to compare Young's gravely voice to anyone else, but to me it was sort of Tom Waits meets Wilson Pickett with a touch of Solomon Burke.

Some of the tracks are sensational, such as the opening track, "Don't Call It Love," with some nice B3 organ, piano, and strings, great Gil Askey (of Motown fame) arrangements, and a few Pickett shrieks to make things interesting.

Track two, "So Strange," has such familiar names as Lester Snell on piano, Leroy Hodges on bass, Preston Shannon on guitar and the great Jackie Jackson on background vocals. It's Sunday and by now I am thoroughly into this disc, thoughts of football a thing of the past, and I am ready for more Young (that's Roy not Vince).

Track three, "Everybody Hurts," bowls me over. It is the closest to pure Memphis soul, with Young's weathered voice revealing the apparent hurt he has experienced in his life. It is a classic interpretation of this great R.E.M. song and a version that should be accessible to any listener. Whew, I'm floored.

"Half Past July" has a touch of his Jamaican influence. A quite abstract "The Age of Sadness," a poetry reading with a great rhythmic groove, will be more difficult for some, but after a few listens, I was enthralled by the arrangement and his Al Green inflections. There's a fabulous ballad, "Beautiful," which will have those deep soul fans out there raising their hands.

The final track, "Bring In The Dawn," is just Young's soulful voice with only a melancholy solo piano. It is a fitting conclusion to this incredible release.

For a reviewer that listens to so many new releases that all have a similar programmed copycat sound, it is refreshing to come across a session with real musicians and 'spare no expense' production. It is the way great records used to be made by producers like Willie Mitchell, Jerry Ragavoy and Rick Hall. Quality always shines through.

I urge you to check out his web site --- www.royyoung.net --- to experience both visually and musically this great new talent before us. You decide.

--- Alan Shutro
- Blues Bytes


The Online Home of Blues & Southern Soul (www.bluescritic.com)
Review By Dylann Deanna August 2006
Roy Young "Memphis" (Tommy Boy Entertainment)
**** The first thing I thought of after hearing this seriously Soulful disc was: "the darker side of Memphis". Though it has a Memphis Soul backbone, the moody, occasionally ominous soundscapes mixed with bittersweet lyrics make this more challenging and quite unique. It's tone more accurately fits current reality than your standard issue R & B record of sex, love & getting your party on.
The Jamaican born Young was actually discovered while performing in Tel Aviv, Israel some seven years ago but it wasn't until recently he began recording. Sessions began in Australia with Motown alumni Gil Askey and Jack Jones before migrating to the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis. Even Mr. Memphis himself Willie Mitchell contributed to this project. Exquisite sonic detail is witnessed from the opening "Don't Call It Love", a torchy ballad with lilting organ, piano and horns. But what really punctuates this recording is Young's weathered, weary voice which contains that elusive timbre of deep, deep Soul you're only born with. Anybody can sing "soulful", i.e., with emotion, but you need the actual vocal apparatus to sound like this. Personally I do hear a dollop of Edward "Little Buster" Forehand in there.
After that auspicious start come the thunderous "So Strange" featuring Hi Records all stars Leroy Hodges, Steve Potts & Lester Snell. This one should get some radio play. Equally fine is the Memphis mover "Half Past July" with a little of his Jamaican influence via the bass dubs and rhythm. You can't beat the aggregation of musicians on this record. Even slight songs like "Jambitious" are performed with such style and power you get swept up in the inspiration. Most of the cuts are originals but even the R.E.M. cover "Everybody Hurts" feels like Young's. Dig how the song appropriately builds to a riveting rave-out.
Not all tracks are as easily accessible, however. It's as if Young is imitating Vincent Price on the Avant-garde "The Age Of Sadness"! It may take a couple listens to warm up to his poetic recitation of the versus but that groove is undeniable. The Deep Soul ballad "Beautiful" begins similar to "Everybody Hurts", seemingly building with gentle piano and strings but doesn't quite deliver when switching to second gear. The closing "Bring In The Dawn" is a sparse piano and voice composition with Young delivering story song lyrics and "bringing in the dawn with some sad and mellow music and drifting with the tide". A track like this flirts with pretentiousness but Young's performance feels 100% authentic as does this magnificent record as a whole.
The label, Tommy Boy Records, have found themselves something special here. Expect critics across the Soul & Blues board to embrace "Memphis
- Blues Critic


Great things are not created overnight. Like the finest wine that has fermented for a very long time, such is music phenomenon, Roy Young. The timing of his arrival is divine, as we have lost so many great ones and are in need of a new musical champion. With his vintage soul stylings incomparable to any other, Roy Young brings comfort to the restless spirit that lies within us – and for those spirits who are dormant -- or just numb from life's challenges, Roy brings a resurrection that reminds you to jump back in and appreciate life. Every household should have Roy Young in their music library for those times when we need to feel that we are not alone and that someone really understands. Roy Young speaks of our joys and our pain as if we were, ourselves, screaming out to the Universe, and it whispers reciprocally, “It’s gonna be alright.”

- Black Star News


ROY YOUNG - #2 most played artist in the month of MAY 2007 on the French Blues Society (Collectif des Radios Blues) airplay list comprising of more than 40 radio stations based in France and Belgium.
Xav. Boulanger - www.radiobakerstreet.com - Baker Street Blues


Discography

Roy Young's debut album "Memphis" was digitally released on Sept. 25th, 2007. Universal Italia is already distributing the album in Italy and a full U.S. release is set for April 2008.

Roy Young is an explosive Soul singer with a truly unique and memorable voice. Tommy Boy’s goal was to surround his voice with dirty blues and funk grooves, true, distinctive soul music and a touch of that Motown sound to give it some pop! The plan was to get together original soul legends, tight players, hardened by the road - and key players on some of the world’s greatest soul records. We brought in Motown arranger and trumpet player Gil Askey to write the horn and string arrangements for the album and to add his deeply moving and unmistakable muted trumpet to the ballads.

We recorded first in Melbourne (home to the producers and current home to Gil Askey and guitar legend Jack Jones). Next, we brought Roy Young in from Israel, the producers in from Australia, and we from New York City….all converging in Memphis at Royal Studios. Like the three wise men following a star to a manger in Bethlehem, we came following the star of Willie Mitchell.

Daniel and Gideon Frankel are two brothers from Melbourne writing and producing soul music for the first time in their young lives. They had discovered and were working with the Jamaican born Roy Young who had been paying dues, singing in soul and jazz bands throughout Eastern Europe for years.

They all came to Memphis to experience the magic of Willie Mitchell. Twenty musicians were assembled and performed flawlessly and quickly for Willie. Roy Young had his first lesson in singing and discovered that he had not one but two voices as Willie asked him to “sing it pretty.”

I saw Roy Young become inspired to believe that he could be more than he ever believed. And I saw Willie Mitchell get younger every day we came back to the studio. And we all felt like a family should really be…supporting each other, encouraging each other, pushing each other to be better and most of all sharing love.

It was then back to New York to work with Grammy Winner, Dave Darlington on the mixes and polish the final result with Leon Zervos at the mastering desk.

There’s magic in every track on this CD and it is our pleasure to share that magic with you.

--- Tom Silverman, founder and CEO of Tommy Boy Music

Photos

Bio

Born in the hills of Jamaica in a shanty with no running water or electricity, Roy Young's love for soul music started at a very early age. When all his friends were listening to the latest ska or the newest reggae track, Roy was listening to groups such as The Dells, The Drifters and The Temptations. When he moved to England at the age of 13 he was introduced to the likes of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex and Solomon Burke.

This was the time of the great Northern Soul movement of the late 60's and early 70's and is when Roy was introduced to his greatest influence, the remarkable Sam Cooke. By the age of 15 he dropped out of school to go on the road with a nine-piece band called The Work Shop. They toured all through England and were regulars at the infamous Bamboo Club in Bristol, England, which was then owned by Roy's first manager, Tony Bullimore. Bullimore is best known today as the yachtsman who penned the autobiographical book entitled "Saved" depicting his amazing rescue from the Southern Ocean during the Vendee Globe round-the-world race in 1997.

Roy Young
Roy was first brought to Israel in 1969 at the age of 20 by Haim Saban, who at the time was a promoter/manager holding auditions in London to bring a soul band to tour Israel. Haim Saban's business prowess has spread him into many different arenas outside of touring since those early days and he is best known today as the creator of "The Power Rangers" and is the head of the international media giant Saban Capital Group. That was the beginning of a close friendship between Haim, his brother Arieh and Roy that has lasted over 35 years and remains strong to this day.

Roy continued to go back and forth to Israel after that first tour and was performing all over Europe, Russia and the Middle East. He performed at the Marquee Club in London with Long John Baldry while he was #1 in England with "Let the Heartache Begin," as well as Arthur Brown while he was topping the U.K charts with "Fire". Roy then caught the eye of two young A&R executives working for EMI London at the time by the names of Dave Rose & Philip Rowley, and they signed Roy to EMI in 1980. They brought Roy to Abbey Road Studios and put together musicians and vocalists to guest on Roy's album. Marvin Gaye, who became another one of Roy's close friends in the early 80's, Pat Rizzo of the band War and the original members of The Four Seasons were some of the talent that performed on Roy's album for EMI.

Roy Young & Philip Rowley
Roy's touring began to take off, and on one trip back to Israel he met his current wife Orly and decided to relocate there on a more permanent basis. Philip Rowley ended up heading to the U.S. for EMI and the project lost its momentum. EMI never completed the album. Roy and Philip, who is currently the Chairman of AOL Europe, recently had a reunion in New York City in June 06 after not seeing one another for almost 20 years!

Roy continued to tour Israel and Europe with various bands and was enjoying life in Israel. In 1997, two young Australian songwriters, brothers Gideon and Daniel Frankel, were backpacking through Israel and heard about a legendary Jamaican soul singer now living in Tel Aviv. They were finally introduced to Roy after several attempts to meet him and played some of their music for him. He wasn't quite sure about what he heard the first time, but when he met with them again the following week he thought that they might be on to something.
Roy Young, Gideon & Daniel Frankel

The Frankels returned home to begin writing and promised that they would contact Roy to arrange for a recording session in Australia. Well, Roy didn't hear from them again, and although he wondered from time to time what happened to those two "happy" kids from Down Under, he didn't think too much of it. Then, seven years later, out of the blue Roy got a call. He heard a voice on the other end of the phone shouting, "Hello, is this Roy? We're ready!" just like it had been seven days. Daniel and Gideon explained to Roy that they had been writing music for him over the years. They now had forty or so songs that they were happy with and they wanted him to come to Australia to record.

In 2003 Roy traveled to Melbourne to record with them under the Australian independent label Shock Records. Legendary Motown arranger and muted trumpet player Gil Askey came out of retirement after hearing what he considered something original in Roy's voice! "Just listen to the personality in his voice. Ain't nobody like this anymore." said Askey, and at the age of 86 he wrote the horn and string arrangements for most of the songs that were being recorded. Guitar genius Jack Jones was brought in on guitar during the Melbourne sessions as well.

Tom Silverman & Roy Young
Once they had recorded 12 songs, the Frankel Brothers went looking for a U.S. partner where they found Rosie Lopez, head of Marketing & International at Tommy Boy Entertainment. She heard Roy's voice an