Archie Bell & The Drells were formed in Houston, Texas in 1966 by Archie and his friends James Wise, Willie Parnell and Billy Butler. They signed with the Houston-based record label, Ovide, in 1967 and recorded a number of songs including “She’s My Woman” and “Tighten Up”, which was recorded in October 1967 at the first of several sessions in which the Drells were backed by the instrumental group the T.S.U. Toronadoes. 

The Bath-based record label that I work with, Lovetown Music, were approached by promoters Musical Therapy Entertainment to provide the backing band for both Archie and US soul star Glenn Jones at the Indigo2 in London back in 2013 and we were once again asked to be Archie’s band for the huge Southport Weekender 50 at Butlins in Minehead.
The event was huge and the addition of Chaka Khan as headliner, backed by UK funksters Incognito, took our excitement levels to max!!
Our set was sandwiched between acid jazz pioneers Brand New Heavies and new kids on the block Snarky Puppy so we were certainly in esteemed company. The festival was a sell-out and the venue was packed for our set, which saw Archie perform his hits “Tighten Up’, “Don’t Let Love Get You Down” and my favourite “Strategy”.
Back in 2001, I fell in love with a song by UK band Faithless called “Muhammad Ali”. I Loved the groove and the feel of the track. Little did I know then that the sample on which the track is built was an Archie Bell song so playing “Strategy” was a career highlight for me.

Archie is due back in the UK for some dates later in 2015 so I will keep you posted on those…..