Charles Walker and the Dynamites have seen some serious action since the release of their 2010 album Burn it Down, having embarked on a rigorous touring agenda with dates in Europe, San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival, Australia’s Byron Bay Bluefest, the Montreal Jazz Festival and more.
With a little bit of downtime, Walker reconnected with fellow soul veteran Bettye LaVette, whose story had, in many ways, unfolded parallel to his.
In the early 1960s, both went to New York to begin their professional careers. Both succeeded there, the epicenter of soul, during the golden era of soul/R&B. Both recorded for a long and distinguished list of American and international soul record labels. Both shared the front-stage spotlight, fronting house bands at Small’s Paradise, the legendary Harlem venue that hosted, for work and play, all of the giants of soul, R&B and jazz during the brightest, most fruitful period for those genres. Both have experienced resurgences buttressed by a revitalization of true soul music itself. And now, both come together in this new century for the first time on a recording to display their incredible, ageless talents and powerful facilities as true soul music veterans in top form.
What the two created through reconnecting was a gem called “Yours & Mines,” their first recorded collaboration. The duet is exactly what you’d expect: classic soul propelled by the abundant chops of a first-rate outfit. Walker, LaVette and The Dynamites nail it to the wall with gritty sincerity without losing not an ounce of smoove, like only the pros can.