Clearly influenced by music from the heyday of the Motown and Stax labels, this Brighton, UK soul singer-songwriter might be one of the greatest new discoveries in pop music this year. After cultivating a sizable European following, she is currently touring North America in support of Pot of Gold (Six Degrees), her first disc to come out stateside. Got The Hunger, the disc's main single, has a catchy horn arrangement that pays homage to the work of the late Arif Mardin, while Fly In My Hand seamlessly blends funk with Europop tendencies. Russell wrote on her web site that her primary influences include Minnie Ripperton, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin. Like her influences, Russells firm, confident voice makes it seem like shes been doing this for years, even though she is barely in her mid-twenties.
Thu., March 26, 9 p.m., 2009