soul Archive

Graham Parker: Sticking to It (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Parker was a mere 25 years old when Howlin’ Wind was released. Today he’s 67. Because of the straightforward, heart-on-the-sleeve quality of his lyrics, it’s fair to wonder if those early songs resonate with him. Or, when he sings “Soul Shoes,” does he feel that he’s a man in his sixties

Graham Parker: Sticking to It (Part 1)

When Graham Parker came on the music scene in the mid 1970s, he was pegged as an angry young man of the new wave movement. And while that label always overstated the case, there was an acerbic and barbed quality to both Parker’s lyrics and his manner of delivery. Still, at his best Parker created

Tank and the Bangas: Big Bang

One of the most intriguing and compelling musical acts to gain recent national attention is Tank and the Bangas. The New Orleans-based group combines spoken word, hip-hop, gospel and other styles into a unique sound all its own. Tank and the Bangas won the prestigious Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, and the group is currently

Khruangbin: Fascinating in Any Language

Crafting a musical style upon a foundation of Thai funk might seem a bit high-concept, especially if you’re a band that makes your albums in a barn in rural Texas. But as unlikely as it might seem, that’s the story that has grown up around Khruangbin, a trio based in Burton, a city of less

Album Reviews: Two Various-Artists RSD Releases

The Other Side of Sun, Part 2 Sun Records had seen its heyday come and go by the time Shelby Singleton bought the label in the late 1960s. But purchase he did. And with that, Sun became part of an impressive catalog that included plenty of hits in a wide variety of genres. Even though

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Barnes went on the road with Deniece Williams, too, and sang the male part of the Williams-Johnny Mathis duet, “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” Initially, he did his part from backstage, but headliner Lou Rawls insisted he come out and sing at center stage with Williams. “Plus,” Rawls told him,

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Jackson got a deal that saw him relocating briefly to London, so he and Barnes parted ways. Around that time Barnes got a call from George Clinton, then with Golden World Records in Detroit. “I was missing working with him and he was missing working with me,” Barnes says. “We were

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… The group with Barnes and Feemster cut a demo recording “I spent $10 to make it,” Barnes says. He played it for one of the members of Little Anthony’s group, who loved it. They rehearsed with Anthony, and were heard by talent scout William Parker. Parker got the group an audition

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 1)

Sidney Barnes’ early recordings and songwriting efforts are prized by aficionados of Northern soul. But that music represents only a fraction of his massive body of work. Barnes has had a career spanning more than five decades, and he’s worked extensively in a dizzying variety of genres: doo-wop, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, funk,

Album Review: Stax Singles Vol. 4: Rarities & the Best of the Rest

Beginning in the early 1990s, the labels owning the Stax/Volt catalog set about releasing impressive box sets of classic material from the venerated yet ultimately troubled Memphis record label. 1991 saw the release of the large format nine-volume box set The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968. Two years later, another nine-disc set was released; subtitled Volume