Music-News.com is proud to host the video premiere of Billie Ray Martin's new single 'Strongheaded Woman'.



Billie Ray Martin describes herself as “a kid from Hamburg’s red-light district", who wanted to be a Soul singer, but ended up playing repetitive machine music, while still trying to be a Soul singer". Clearly a Soul singer and a highly respect pioneer of House and electronic music, most notably her groundbreaking work with Electribe 101 and her seminal hit 'Your Loving Arms', Bille Ray Martin reveals her new passion project,'The Soul Tapes' album, written and produced together with New York's multi award-winning producer Jon Tiven (whos credits include B.B. King, Frank Black/Black Francis and Wilson Pickett, among others) and Sally Tiven.

"This is a 'dream come true' side project, you could say. I’ve recorded a Soul album, pure Soul and some good old Rhythm and Blues. New songs mostly, with two of my favourite songs covered too. I’m so happy with the results and just a little proud." - Billie Ray Martin

'The Soul Tapes' is the natural conclusion to her acclaimed 2001 '18 Carat Garbage'album (which was recorded in Memphis with Al Green’s and Aretha Franklin’s musicians) and a ‘first’ for Billie: no electronic music this time. Billie has realised her long-held dream of recording an album that is strongly influenced by Hi-Records (Al Green, Ann Peebles,Willie Mitchell), with a measure of ’60s garage records too. It is also not devoid of a certain country twang, and even Bo Diddley peeks through the door on one song.

'Strongheaded Woman' hails the first single to be released from the album - an epic tale of a Las Vegas slot machine addict seemingly meeting her Rhinestone Cowboy, only to discover that he’s just another cheap hit and run sleaze bag. Billie has also enlisted the help of some remixers on some album tracks, including Boston Disco groovers Soul Clapand UK Electronic outfit Mooli, along with some more surprise guests to come! Other soul-fuelled treats to behold include a cover of the Rolling Stones classic 'That's How Strong My Love Is', which sees Billie belt out a dynamite vocal performance; a stunning cover of an Ann Peebles favourite 'One Way Street'; and a personal favourite from the album, 'The Long And Lonely Fall', which typifies the writing style of Billie, Jon and Sally. 'The Glittering Gutter' is a melancholic tale of the red light district of Hamburg where she grew up, and what it has become, now golden days are over, laced with a heartbreaking vocal drizzled over a dramatic snare. Closing out this gem of a journey with a bang is 'Skin On The Wheel Of Time', where the band had asked Billie to record the vocals, but tired and jet lagged, she proclaimed that she didn’t like the song. When the band cooed and prodded, she finally agreed to sing "this damn song once and once only, and never again". Pissed off, Billie proceeded to take the roof off and recorded it in just one take, without any rehearsal!

Billie Ray Martin and producer/writer Jon Tiven were introduced in New York in the mid ’90s and had started drafting the odd song, together with Sally Tiven. Further writing sessions followed, until it was decided that there was an album of songs worth recording.'The Soul Tapes' was recorded at New York's famous 900 Broadway Studio (whereKeith Richards recorded his first solo album!), alongside Jon Tiven (guitar), Sally Tiven (bass) and Simon Kirke (drums), and some guest musicians, then finally revisited in 2014 to determine the definitive album sound. The results are convincing and powerful and show once again Billie’s refusal to conform to trends, preferring as she does, to create them, simultaneously delivering a Soul tour de force!

Billie will also be touring live with The Soul Tapes album this spring:

May 7th Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle Upon Tyne (album premier)
May 4th MoMA, NYC
May 20th Jazz Café, London
+ more to come!

2016 looks set to be a hugely exciting year for Billie as she gets set to celebrate Electribe 101's 25th anniversary with the launch of a triple CD re-release album, including rare and previously unreleased tracks, set for release later in the year. And if that's not enough to keep this lady busy, Billie is currently in the studio working on a brand new House music album too.

Track Listing
1 Your Ghost Is Right Behind Me
2 Two Cents For A Heart Of Gold
3 Strongheaded Woman
4 That’s How Strong My Love Is
5 The Glittering Gutter
6 One Way Street
7 The Long And Lonely Fall
8 The Fool You’re Looking For
9 Skin On The Wheel Of Time

Billie Ray Martin 'The Soul Tapes' album will be released on May 13th 2016 on Sonnenstahl Records.

Photo credit: Joern Hartmann

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