Mon 30 Aug 2021

Update: The vinyl release is now sold out online. There may be a few copies left at Northside Records and Rocksteady Records if you're quick. There are still T-shirts and digital copies available here.

Soul Messin’ Records is honoured to release Soulgroove‘66, a limited-edition seven-inch single featuring Australian soul legend Renée Geyer. Paying homage to recently departed legend Pierre Baroni, the song was broadcast every week as the opening theme of his cult-radio program Soulgroove‘66.

Since 2003, the soundtrack of Melbourne Saturday afternoons was the Soulgroove‘66 show on PBS. The husky tones of Pierre Baroni and his little box of 45’s took listeners on a spiritual road trip each week through the deep archives of soul, R’n’B and funk. Introducing audiences to artists such as George Jackson, Clarence Carter, Sharon Jones and countless others, Soulgroove‘66 fast became a cult radio hit; and when artists such as Eddie Bo, Syl Johnson, Betty Harris, Irma Thomas, or Marva Whitney came to town, they dropped into the studio to appear on Pierre’s show.


Perennially humble, Pierre refrained from talking about himself. Most of his listeners had no idea that their favourite radio DJ was also an award-winning graphic designer, producer and photographer who had worked with Australian legends such as Tina Arena, Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Deborah Conway and Jimmy Barnes to name but a few. He was all about the music but he preferred to chat about rare archive recordings; tell you about his pilgrimages to the deep south of the United States to dig for records; and to play you his favourite cuts at clubs and dance parties such as Soul A Go Go.

His legacy lives on through the generations of Melbourne-based musicians who fell in love with soul via his weekly program. Pierre’s unwavering support for local artists spawned a thriving community of internationally acclaimed Australian acts such as The Bamboos, Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Saskwatch, the Women of Soul Collective, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Teskey Brothers and many more.

This limited-edition release, Pierre’s final studio work, celebrates an incredible contribution to the global soul community. His vision for the release was to create a new recording of Soulgroove‘66 under his composer pseudonym of P. Black, played by the fictitious band The New Cobras. Partnering with Cookin’ On 3 Burners organ player, Jake Mason to co-produce the sessions, the record sounds like an archive recording from 1966, rather than from a suburb of Melbourne in 2021. The results showcase Pierre’s incredible talent and ear for detail. He wrote the song, created the arrangement and directed the recording sessions, passionately ensuring the song was recorded in mono, in line with his favourite era of music. He even chose the cymbals the drummer used. 

Featuring Renée Geyer on vocals, Jake Mason (Cookin’ on 3 Burners) on organ, Danny Farrugia on drums and Yuri Pavlinov on bass (The Bamboos), this original tune gives a nod to the classic soul and funk sides from the Stax and Motown labels with a lyrical twist on the jazz standard Route 66. The B side, Soulgroove’66 pt.II, performed by The Nightstalkers is a downtempo slow grind fever number, designed to be the music bed played underneath Pierre each week as he thanked the patron members of the Soulgroove‘66 program.

With all proceeds going to PBS, the official release of Soulgroove’66 on 7” vinyl, Pierre’s favourite recorded format, is an apt way to remember a soul legend lost too soon. Pick up your copy here.

Listen back to the final Saturday 14 August 2021 tribute edition of Soulgroove'66 here.

Visit the online tribute page to Pierre here. If you'd like to add your tribute, you can do it online here.

Vale Pierre Baroni.


You can read more about Pierre here: