I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
All I knew was there was a band from England called The Brand New Heavies. A funk band, no less. They had this female lead singer that sounded great with them, girl with the last name of Davenport. First name something like N’Dea. How you pronounce that?
And what kind of band, playing that type of music, is going to get any traction with New Jack Swing in full effect? Hip Hop all over the airwaves? R&B holding on for dear life?
What I didn’t know is that the version of The Brand New Heavies that I was hearing was tweaked slightly with Davenport. She stepped in as the band reworked their original debut album, which was released in the U.K. with Jay Ella Ruth on lead vocals. It was years after the fact that I heard the original versions of songs that Davenport turned into hits.
Nevertheless, with the release of “Dream Come True,” “Stay This Way” and today’s Morning Groove, “Never Stop” (their biggest R&B hit), the Brand New Heavies were on the map. Davenport would come and go, and the band would replace her with other lead vocalists (Siedah Garrett filled in for the Shelter album around the time that Davenport released a great, but hard-to-find solo album in the late 90s). Their most recent album, 2014’s Sweet Freeks featured Dawn Joseph on lead vocals. Earlier this year, it was announced that Davenport will tour with the group, perhaps suggesting that she may be back in the fold again.
Enjoy the Morning Groove for your Wednesday. As always, thanks for listening and reading.