Jim Diamond, backed by the cream of Scotland’s musicians, returns with an album called ‘City of Soul’, which aims to raise money for Sir Tom Hunter’s Cash For Kids charity.
Every year, Sir Tom, in conjunction with Radio Clyde, stages a fund raising evening in Glasgow for his charity. At last year’s concert all those taking part were lucky enough to be supported by the most fantastic band of Scottish musicians, featuring Wet Wet Wet’s Tommy Cunningham on drums, Hue and Cry’s Greg Kane on keyboards, The Proclaimers bassist Garry John Kane, Brian McFie on guitar (best known for his work with the Big Dish and Marianne Faithful), John Milne’s horn section, Stevie Mulhearn on Hammond organ and three tremendous young Glaswegian singers – Tippi, Joe Gallacher and Lynnie Carson. It was a soul band to die for, and the night was as stunning success.
With both of them sharing a love of soul music, Jim was approached that night by Sir Tom and asked if he would be prepared to record a soul record, which his foundation would finance and from which all the proceeds would go to Cash For Kids. Happy to oblige, Jim immediately compiled a list of 100 titles for the project from the Tamla Motown, Stax & Atlantic Records catalogues.
Struggling to whittle the list down to just 12 songs, Jim had his eureka moment. As a kid in Glasgow, Jim sang, like many of his contemporaries, in pubs, clubs and YMCAs. Battering out soul music, there were certain songs that were not only part of his repertoire but also the repertoire of most of the bands on the circuit at that time. With this in mind, Jim met with Sir Tom in London and shared his idea – an album of 12 classic soul songs that we would call “The City of Soul” - a tribute not only to the music but also the city they both love.
When it came to putting the band together, every musician who had performed at the charity concert agreed to take part. The studio was booked and rehearsals arranged.
Rehearsed and recorded in 14 days, the tracks on City of Soul are all live takes. If a mistake was made or they weren’t happy with the feel they’d all start again from the top, so the performances you hear are what happened there and then. No smoke, no mirrors – just like it used to be. Horns and backing vocals were then put on top.
Speaking of the album, Jim said, “I am only one of the many musicians that made this record possible and we sincerely hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. Every penny that this record hopefully makes will go directly to the charity.”
You can donate to Cash For Kids HERE
Jim gives his personal account of 'City of Soul' HERE
Greg Kane talks about 'City of Soul', giving an insight into recording the album HERE
Tommy Cunningham's personal take on 'City of Soul' and the events which inspired and led to its creation HERE
1) Morning Glory
2) One Two Three
3) Don’t Play That Song
4) Holy Cow
5) Since I Lost My Baby
7) I’m Your Puppet
8) Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
9) Chain Gang
10) Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
11) Stand By Me
12) Spanish Harlem