Category Archives: ska

Valerie Ghent

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It’s been a while since the lovely Valerie Ghent graced these pages, well actually it was on the old blog but who’s counting.

So I figured it was time to check and see what she was up to.
In a word the same amazing stuff as before but doing it in the now.

First up check out her most recent video release, an awesome funky sexy cover of the Ben E King classic. Great band, great vibe and to the front the beautiful sound of Valerie herself.
Supernatural Thing

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Valerie Ghent has a new album dropping next month, and a beaut it is.

“An electrifying mix of R+B, funk, pop, reggae & smooth soul, “Velours” was recorded in NYC and the South of France. Harkening back to old-school days of recording live with real musicians, and singing live lead vocals while recording, in this breathtaking, spell-binding performance Ghent fully unleashes her 3 and 1/2 octave vocal range, powerful keyboard chops and her distinctive voice that can hurtle into the stratosphere, whisper in your ear or fall into a low croon at will.”

From her previous album here’s a fantastic taste of the islands.
There is no way you can keep your feet still and listen to this beautiful track.
Performing here are the following:
Valerie Ghent – lead vocal, backing vocals
Francis Mbappe – guitar, bass, vocals
Tinker Barfield – bass
Robin Macatangay – guitar
Bashiri Johnson – percussion
Kevin Johnson – drums
Run Run Run

Produced by Valerie Ghent

Recorded by Ron Allaire, Francis Mbappe, Valerie Ghent
Mixed by Valerie Ghent
Mastered by Greg Calbi

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I got a sneak peek at the album, and from the first track to the last that I heard I was enthralled. Sadly it cannot be shared with you yet. But I can share my reactions to some of the tracks I have heard.

The first track, “Love Divine”, has the feel of a Leonard Cohen song. I’m not even sure why I say that, certainly the voice is nowhere near that gruff. It’s just a total feeling, maybe the backing singers. All in all it is a beautiful track with a very tight band.

“It’s Got to be You” kicks of with a tinkling piano before the rest of the band come in, a percussive tour de force that is smoothed by Valerie and the backing chorus. A very funky piece.

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Here’s a strange thing, I’m not a big fan of New York (nice place to visit wouldn’t want to live there) but when I was listening to the third track I got the chills. It really espouses the feeling of the city, the song is – “New York City Streets”. Maybe it relates back to my upbringing in another big city London, or more likely it was the voice of Valerie.

Valerie will break your heart with “Light in my Life”, amazing vocals that are so poignant and soulful.

“On and On”, man this band is tight and the vocals so spot on.
And the funk is on and on and on. This track makes me smile, even if it makes Valerie sad. It just has that great beat with a slight hint of ska.

All in all this is an amazing album, and I can’t wait to hear it all when it comes out Oct 21, 2016.

Meanwhile check out this intimate, romantic love song, Valerie discovers long-lost family roots in the magical city of Venice.
Beating In My Heart

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I’m gonna finish up with this classic, beautiful French chanson written by Valerie’s great-uncle, Eugène Cavos, in 1954 in Paris.
The song was lost for decades and once found, magically reunited Valerie with long-lost family in Europe.
So beautiful and so authentically French.
Refrain de Mon Enfance

Video: Made by Ju
Filmed on location in Paris
Valerie Ghent – voice
Sibylle Lievois – accordion
music by Eugène Cavos
lyrics by Nick Frionnet & Christian Tison

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