soul Archive

Album Review: Holy Hive — Float Back to You

Combine crystalline, upper register vocals with a musical aesthetic that’s part Philly Soul, parts indie rock and relentlessly melodic, and the result – if it’s lucky – might sound a bit like Holy Hive. This Brooklyn-based trio has its roots in the music of folk singer Paul Spring, but the indelible, shimmering pop values of

Album Review: Aloud — Sprezzatura

When I reviewed Aloud’s debut single more than two years ago, I expressed my belief that the group had real potential. I had no idea just how right I would turn out to be. The blaring horns that open “Loving U’s a Beautiful Thing” (and the album) signal that Sprezzatura is going to be a

Album Review: Nat Turner Rebellion – Laugh to Keep From Crying

I’ve written of similar observations before; here I am doing it once again. It amazes me to no end that so many years after the fact, never-before-heard recordings surface, and the quality of the music is remarkable. So it is with Nat Turner Rebellion’s Laugh to Keep From Crying. Recorded in various sessions between 1969

Album Review: Four Early Allman Brothers-related Titles

A group as great as The Allman Brothers Band doesn’t simply burst forth fully formed. There has to be a back story. And while it’s true that the greatest bands are so often more than the sum of their parts, the creative artistry of Duane and Gregg Allman cannot be denied. Some years ago, the

Album Review: Marvin Gaye — More Trouble

I’ve read critical essays that characterize Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man as part of a triptych of albums, one of three soundtrack albums for ‘70s “blaxpliotation” films. Yet against the backdrop of Isaac Hayes’ Shaft and Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly, Gaye’s 1972 album is little known and less remembered. Part of the reason for that may

Ryan RnB Barber: Can’t Hold Him Down

Ryan RnB Barber is one of the busiest musicians in Western North Carolina. He does it all: singing, rapping, songwriting, producing and arranging. And he stays busy with several bands (including BoogiTherapi and Orange Krush), participation in open mic/jam nights, and as a member of Grammy award winning kid-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo’s band.

Album Review: Bobby Hatfield — Stay With Me

The history of popular music is scattered with tales of aborted projects, albums that for one reason or another never saw the light of day. Though it finally saw a kind of official release in the 21st century, the Beach Boys’ SMiLE is perhaps the most famous white whale of them all. And in that

30 Days Out: March 2020 #1: The Yawpers, The Fritz, Southern Culture on the Skids, Eric Johnson

Punk/Americana hybrid. Funky soul that’s equal parts Donny Hathaway and funk/fusion. Unbridled rock ‘n’ roll with a sassy Southern flavor. And some of the most appealing electric guitar tone you’re ever likely to hear. Those are just some of what’s on offer on concert stages in Asheville in the coming thirty days. Artist: The Yawpers

Fantastic Negrito: Never Give Up

When Fantastic Negrito emerged onto the music scene in 2015, he looked to all the world like a new, emerging artist. Winner of that year’s Tiny Desk Contest for his song and video “Lost in a Crowd,” the Oakland musician showcased a sound that built upon the blues, but that didn’t conform to most people’s

Seratones: Power Takes Time

In the music business there’s something known as the “difficult second album.” Some call it a sophomore slump, arising from the idea that the artist has his or her entire life to write songs for the first record, and then mere months to craft material for a follow-up. It’s the rare artist that sidesteps this