There are some people blessed with voices that just make you go “wow” and it’s fair to say that Newcastle’s Sam Dickinson is one of them. Having worked hard to build a reputation for spot on soul honing his craft in the soul clubs of the UK, Dickinson releases his first studio album The Stories That Occurred on 22 July and for lovers of classic soul and R&B with delivered with a powerful voice this album is a must. Outselling Alicia Keyes on the itunes pre sales when his album became available for pre order it is very easy to see why; this is a mind blowing slice of pure class, modern songs for a modern age delivered in the powerful style of some of the soul greats such as Sam Cooke and Dusty Springfield as well as a more contemporary soul army such as Simply Red. It’s all here. The brass, the beat, the way it gets your feet tapping and just wanting a time machine back to the heady days when soul ruled the airwaves. No wonder he’s gathering an army of fans including Breeze radio who have declared The Stories That Occurred album of the week but also legendary soul diva Gabrielle with his heady mix of Las Vegas and Motown with a hint of Wigan Casino.
Actually to recreate that funk soul feeling and keep it through a whole album is a testament to the undoubted ability of this singer. First track on the album is the latest single How It Used to Be which grabs you by the throat telling an age old tale of time passing in the classical soul style. Away from Me with its mournful theme is a tale of longing and loss with Learn to Wait showing the other side of the emotional coin with a slightly country vibe meets show tune start before you’re thrown back into the soul mele with the chorus. The theme of love and loss continue with When You Left Me taking you right down to the depths of heartbreak further compounded by the lilting Mistake Again with a very delicate introduction. Soul standard style A Million Miles transports you to a smokey nightclub and could easily be straight from the late 60s or an Aretha standard with the defiant Don’t Come Running Back ramping back up the Motown power. I’ve Gone, I’ve Quit is a very loose, funked up soul leading to Lift Up Your Head. This is a real gem of a soul classic in the making and suits Sam’s voice perfectly. This could be the hit of the album. Final track Our Day is a good strong ending to the album with soaring lyrics and a very jazz feel to it.
For a first studio album this is a very good offering which would fit very well into any soul repertoire. Modern soul dealing with the age old themes of love and loss but with a highly retro vibe. Expect to hear this album being showcased on national radio very soon
As well as playing Taurus bar for an acoustic set launching The Stories That Occurred on 20 July as part of the Manchester Fringe, Sam is playing Night & Day on 6 September and, frankly, it you want to get a ticket buy it now. Once this big and bold album, shot through with classic soul DNA launches I predict it will be one of the hottest tickets in town.
How It Used to Be
Away from Me
Learn to Wait
When you left me
A Million Miles
Don’t Come Running Bank
I’ve Gone, I’ve Quit
Lift Your Head
The Stores That Occurred by Sam Dickinson is released 22 July and is available to buy on i-tunes.
This review first appeared at The Manchester Gazette