Legendary James Brown's protégée Martha High teams up with Osaka Monaural to pay homage to "JB's Funky Divas" in her new album Tribute to My Soul Sisters. High has been an integral part of James Brown's life and career for more than 30 years: she was his backing vocalist, hair stylist, payroll master and his always loyal and reliable confidant. After a lifetime spent shoulder to shoulder with the Godfather of Soul, she flew to Tokyo and teamed up with Japanese funk ambassadors Osaka Monaurail to pay homage to the great Soul Sisters of the JB's Revue.
The idea for this special project was hatched back in 2014, when she was visiting the producer Dj Pari, head honcho of the Soulpower organization and tight collaborator of soul legends like The Impressions, Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney. While reminiscing about tours with her fellow James Brown's veterans, Martha felt that a tribute to the great Soul Sisters of the JB's Revue, better known as "the Funky Divas," was very much needed. Without further ado, following DJ Pari's advice and while on tour in Tokyo, she partnered up with one of the hottest name of the new funk renaissance: Japan's Osaka Monaurail. Martha could not have chosen a better band for this mission: deeply influenced by the work of James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Curtis Mayfield and with 9 albums under the belt, Osaka Monaurail have been leading the international funk scene for more than 2 decades.
This unique collaboration gives new life to 13 soulful pearls, masterfully interpreted as only an original Funky Diva 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 King's 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 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 record the music of the Funky Divas would mean a lot to Mr Brown. He always wanted the world to know he had powerful women on stage that could hold his crowd while he was off the stage; they were just as powerful and funky as he was."