Music: A fine voice from Fife

Amanda Lyon
Amanda Lyon

Last year I heard a teaser of a song sent for evaluation and after I posted off comments heard no more about it.

The voice was familiar though and perhaps unmistakable as session and live performer Amanda Lyon from Fife. A press release this week now has an accompanying full album and the full concept oozes an all round good feeling of soul, funk and jazzy grooves.

With no hint of live appearances this project credited to Freedom Of Sound remains a studio exploration.

Yet I see this as a great touring band with brass section included and individual solos from the talented musicians within. Written by keyboard wizard Alan Cunningham and bass player Steve Harrison together they have built up these tracks over a number of years. I knew Steve from his time firstly with Electric Thistle then Monkey Puzzle, the latter being a highly original funk instrumental band blending Larry Carlton with Steely Dan to form a jazz soundscape like no other.

In those days Alan Garrie was keyboard player alongside Paul Mills on drums (Hue & Cry) and the immense talent of the late Andy Hunter on electric guitar.

This new album is called Sunshine and opens with the bright uptempo title. Hearing the brass overtones of the calm Solitude Day and funky Feedin’ The Dog suggests an Average White Band or Crusaders influence while still being created here and completely original.

Reading The Signs is retro soul with vintage organ and ladies backing vocals but all multi-tracked by the talented Amanda while her blues range is immense on Every Step Of The Way.