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"Afro Strut": Amp Fiddler
by Matthew Daniel (UK Editor)
If Marvin or Curtis were re-born, I’m sure Amp
would play a part in influencing these legends.
Strong comment you may think? Have you yet
listened to his new release? Have you picked
at your pockets to purchase this new album? I
suggest you do. ‘Afro Strut’ is certainly an
influential record, that takes soul music way
back to it’s true roots where live
instrumentation predicts the emotions, and feelings.

Todays producers have a snare, a kick drum, and catchy chorus to
make it. Luckily, we have artists that rarely come around each year
and offer us a musical treat. But when they do, you remember why
you love soul music. Amp Fiddler brought us to his attention in 2004
with ‘Waltz of a Ghetto Fly’ released by Pias Records. Now, ‘Afro Strut’
is launched with UK’s confident yet low budget label BBE Music. The
funkiness is fresh, the soul is plentiful, and the lyrics are real. You
know, it’s nothing that special of a record, it’s just your average
person having ago at producing (all said with sarcasm). Of course it’s
something special! Its musical fusions are incredible, from the 40’s
jazz eras of Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker, he adds the new in
with the old.

Vocally, Fiddler has fiddled with his vocal chords and improved
immensely. There’s a lot more focus on melodies, rather than
production based like his debut. I generally think this album is his
best to date due to its arrangements and like-ability. The album
begins with ‘Faith’, presenting you with hopeful lyrics that go ‘Baby,
we’ve got to keep the faith’. The song has a funky, almost
blaxploitation guitar riff, along with head nodding percussion and a
luscious Rhodes. The second song is called ‘If I Don’t’, which is my
favourite. The song describes the records title as it almost has a
certain ‘Afro Strut’ vibe to its sound.

‘Empower’, is a pleasant, soul filled paradise of a song, which
captivates the listener. ‘You Could Be Mine’, a more funk filled song,
reflecting his inner thoughts. ‘Heaven’, is musically a genius song,
featuring an unknown female vocalist that blew me away, literally
heaven. Through out this thirteen-song book, you hear evidence of
past heroes like Stevie Wonder, Parliament, Baby Huey, Curtis
Mayfield, Johnny Taylor and Bill Withers. ‘Seven Miles’ and ‘Funky
Monday’ are fun to listen to, with a great vibe to it, that you’d be able
to play at any party and it would get people moving. ‘Ridin’ is a
superb song, it reminds me of Marvin Gaye’s soundtrack album
‘Troubled Man’, as well as the ‘Hustle’ song. ‘Hustle’ continues a
hypnotic vibe through out, oozing with class, passion, and devotion,
giving you evidence of Amp’s soul.
‘Waltz of a Ghetto Fly’ is in the past and ‘Afro Strut’ is Amp Fiddler’s
new door to soulful stardom, as I truly believe this guy has a
legendary modern day soul man hidden inside of him.

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