Sublime Funk from Lawrence Preston, the Godfather of Eclectic Soul
Artist: Lawrence Preston
Title: Stood Up
F.F.O: Bootsy Collins; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Maze
After the radio success of “Something for You”, Lawrence Preston returns with a new track, the 80’s-flavored funk earthquake, “Stood Up”. It’s reassuring to know that in these days of click tracks and auto-tune, REAL SOUL and FUNK still exists. Not just music which fits a convenient pigeon-hole but music with real heart and a real musician creating it. Lawrence Preston is not just an incredible singer, he is a skilled-songwriter; studio producer and multi-instrumentalist, focussing on the bass as his primary instrument. “Stood Up” showcases Lawrence’s sublime slap-bass skills as well as projecting his hugely engaging, larger-than-life personality. This then is what Lawrence deems, Eclectic Soul, a sound which we can all expect to hear much more of.
Lawrence’s ultra-smooth gliding soul vocals and his truly stunning musicianship marry perfectly with his observations of an unlucky guy on a failed date. With an almost cartoonish sense of humour pervading the lyrics with, his bass-playing immediately brings to mind Bootsy Collins, Marcus Miller, and Verdine White -this is not just bass-playing which holds a groove, it takes on a life of its own, holding you magnetically to the song whilst always being at the point of exploding into a funk inferno. Vocally, Lawrence exudes the luscious tones of Aaron Neville, Sam Cooke and Ronald Isley, a sound which seems as effortless to him as breathing yet has such an elegance and precision that you wonder how it’s been hidden away so long.
A San Francisco native, Lawrence was born into a musical family, his parents having formed a gospel group, The Sensational Travelers, who rehearsed in the local church at which his grandfather was a pastor. At the age of only five, Lawrence was part of another family gospel group, Fantastic Four, also featuring his father, a talented guitarist. Becoming known locally as “The Gospel Jackson Five”, he had now truly become committed to music, learning to play trombone, guitar and, his ultimate weapon of choice, bass guitar. Aged 19, his musical skill was spotted by Sly & the Family Stone founder, Freddie Stone who in turn recommended him to “Oh, Happy Day” singer, Dorothy Morrison, leading to a significant period in the 1980s as the bass player in her gospel band.
Taking his time to truly learn his craft, Lawrence emerged in the 1990s as an artist with a wealth of experience, recording his first full-length album in 1997. “Stood Up” shows Lawrence Preston as being not just a consummate smooth soul singer at the peak of his powers but as an artist for fans of 70s disco and funk, 80s stars like Rick James and Maze and for those wanting to hear real musicianship and ego-free musical fusion.