with keni burke 9.10.10
Been ten years since the site was originally set up. Lot of water under the bridge, so I thought I would re-write the 'greetings' page, in order that those newer folks to the site might get a better lowdown regarding exactly what this site is all about....
My previous ramblings were all to do with large music comnpanies bullying the smaller websites, letting them know who still were 'the boss' I recall. My personal take on things is that these guys believe that anyone who is interested in music, is just like they are. Not interested at all in music, but VERY interested if there is any money in the dwindling musical pot out there. Soulwalking is 10 years old this year. At the outset, the companies spent so much time fighting the likes of Audio Galaxy and Napster, that it took a while for the penny to drop that, they were actually fighting those whom they should have embraced at the time. The situation got completely out of hand that, in the final outcome, folks won't pay for music anymore. Two very odd statistics out there are, those who download huge amounts of music from blogs and sharing websites, are those most likely to spend the most on music in the long term, and 50 percent of all music on vinyl out there, has yet to make it to CD! (statistics taken from the excellent movie 'Need That Record!') After all this time....wow. Now if you were a clever musical businessman, it is still not too late to grab the opportunity with both hands and come up with a way that this product can be secured and made available for a reasonable price (and I do mean reasonable). Those anoraks like myself, will gladly go pay a small fortune for a vinyl album, if it is available.
I used to post music samples at the site, until one online musical captialist/policeman informed me that, if I wanted to leave the music up there, I could leave short snippets of songs only, and for a huge price at that. As Soulwalking operates as a non profitmaking website, I took the music offline. Even considered shutting the site at one point, however, promotion comes in many different manifestations, so I chose to concentrate on the new material, perhaps slow down a little on the older stuff, as many blogs do cover much of the rare groove material from back in the day (and a very good job they do as well, I might add), and fill in as much information in resume form, as I can get out of my head and onto the digital page. By the way, those folks who relentlessly pursue these specialist blog's ought to understand what the word 'specialist' actually means. If folks trawl the net looking for a 1981 Sterling Harrison album called 'One Size Fits All', they are doing so because they can't find the album, so they want the mp3, until they do find the album. Then they will buy a copy. The last thing on the punters minds is 'I want this for free and for Sterling (who has passed on) not to have a penny for it. Those industry types are judging people by their own values, and not 'the criminals' as they perceive most of us to be.
The picture of Keni up top, came from a birthday party that Ralph Tee at Expansion records held during October 2010. Ralph is a very nice person, who loves Keni Burke as much as I do. He has the wherewithal to bring some of these great artists over here to perform. Thanks to Ralph, I got to meet the maker of my favourite Soul album, namely 'You're The Best', which Keni gave to the World in 1981. Cracking album it is too. I post Expansions material at the site, mainly as Ralph and I 'sing from the same songsheet' pretty well all of the time. Folks see the albums here, go buy the CD hopefully, and, in my small way, help Ralph get some money together to get Keni back here at a later date.
Soulwalking has taken me into an almost 'Field Of Dreams' scenario here. 'Build it and they will come!' was the line, relating to the baseball players in that movie. Well, in a cranky sort of way, Soulwalking has allowed me to meet some of my favourite people. Keni Burke was no disappointment. Lovely man. In the past decade I was priviledged to meet musicians (Keni, Lamont Dozier, RAMP, Marva Whitney, Swing Out Sister, Teena Marie, Jean Carne, Nathan Heathman, Tashan, Norman Connors, Ronnie McNeir, the Four Tops amongst many others) in person, some folks online and I was also priviledged to meet some of my radio and club heroes (Chris Hill, Peter Young, Robbie Vincent, Dave Godin, Ralph along with many others). They all certainly all kept me on my toes.
Never thought all of that would come to pass, but, obliquely, happy accidents do come about. Be nice to think that some of the younger folks might get site building. Sure, you will probably like all of the newer R&B (which misses me), but that is cool. What is important that you like what you like, and whatever moves you emotionally. Bear in mind, in expressing themselves musically, an artist is literally 'bearing their Soul'. Leaves themselves open to criticism as well as acclaim. Like a relationship with a partner. For the relationship to function at it's premium, you have to leave yourself vulnerable. Your musical tastes will leave you open for criticism as well. I love Soul music. I have no hesitation in telling the Soul purists out there that I love the music of Todd Rundgren and Janelle Monae (although, as they say at Facebook....'that one is complicated!'). Stick by your guns, believe in what you do, and those that have differing opinions to yours, tell yourself that opinions are like our 'London Derriere's'! Everyone has got one!
Thank you to those regular visitors. My apologies if I don't always get back to you. That is because I am a bit of a fliberttygibbet (scatter brain), who needs a good slap every now and again! In one ear etc.....
Toby Walker 2010