Record Label: Record Kicks
The funky Diva Martha High has been an integral part of James Brown’s life and career for more than 30 years: she was his backing vocalist, hairdresser, payroll master and his always loyal and reliable confidant. The idea for this album was hatched back in 2014, whilst she was visiting the producer Dj Pari, head honcho of the Soulpower organization and tight collaborator of the soul legends Marva Whitney, The Impressions, Lyn Collins and many more. They reminisced about tours with her fellow James Brown show veterans and Martha decided that she wanted to record a tribute to JB’s female vocalists. Following DJ Pari’s advice, she flew to Tokyo to partner with one of the hottest name of the new funk renaissance: Osaka Monaurail. The Japanese premiere funk orchestra has hitting stages around the world for more than two decades, and it is considered to be one of the world’s leading groups in the genre.
Martha could not have chosen a better band for her last LP: the band replicated the sound and feel of James Brown’s music with unmatched dedication, authenticity and respect; their shading is at times almost hair raising, putting the spotlight solely on Martha and her mission. This legendary collaboration has given new life to 13 soulful hits, interpreted as only a real Soul Sister can do. To name a few: “Think (About It)”, made famous by the female preacher Lyn Collins, “Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own”, Anna Kings’ answer to JB “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “This Is My Story”, of which she recorded the original version with The Jewels and the soul classic “Answer to Mother Popcorn” by JB’s “best female singer in his revue” Vicki Anderson. "I looked up to these ladies of soul," says Martha, "Given the opportunity and the pleasure to perform their songs is my way of saying: thank you, you're not forgotten. To keep the music of the Funky Divas going was special to Mr. Brown, too. He wanted the world to know he had some powerful women on stage that could hold his crowd while he was changing clothes or taking a break; they were just as powerful and funky as he was."
As well as having spent a lifetime shoulder to shoulder with the Godfather of Soul, Martha High launched her solo career in 1979 with the self-titled debut album for Salsoul Records. Since then she released five albums under her name and, being one of the “hardest working ladies in the show business”, she became as well the lead singer of the legendary funky music machine Maceo Parker. Throughout her career Martha shared stages worldwide with some iconic artists like Little Richard, Jerry lee Lewis, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson and George Clinton to name a few. Martha has been carrying the torch of soul music for her whole life, like a true Soul Sister. Now, with this new effort, she is keeping the music of the Funky Divas going, and we are sure that the Godfather of Soul would appreciate it.