soul Archive

Album Review: Various Artists — Soul Explosion

There’s undeniable appeal in retrospective compilations. With the benefit of hindsight and historical context, compilers can curate a set of songs that displays the character of a given theme, be it a style of music, a genre, or a survey of a particular label’s output. Legendary Memphis label Stax has been the subject of quite

Moves: Movin’ On Up

More than a decade ago, guitarists Stephen Murray and Matt Martin launched their band, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, as a sort of hybrid between ragtime jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Seven albums, two EPs and countless gigs later, the band looks much the same. But it sounds completely different. Reflecting that change, the band is

Even More Hundred-worders for May 2019

I’m determined to keep my backlog of music-for-review to a manageable size. Making that happen means that once again it’s time for ten of my quickie reviews. So off we go. These are all new or very recent titles of new music. Girls on Grass – Dirty Power I really like this record. Right off

Hundred-worders for May 2019

Here we go again, kids. If you’ve visited Musoscribe before, you likely know the drill: new albums worth your (and my) time, covered in the tidy space of precisely 100 words each. Proper Ornaments – 6 Lenins Here’s a nice one. With shades of Echo & the Bunnymen and the church, this London group makes

The Whispers: A Half Century of Smooth

Smooth R&B vocal group the Whispers have been a fixture of the music landscape for a half century. With a sound that draws from vocal greats like the Temptations, the Whispers apply a soothing approach that keeps the focus on the vocals. But the enduring act has applied a solid slow-jam dance groove to its

Hundred-word Reviews for April 2019: Jazz

I’m sent a lot of music for potential review, and for that I’m grateful. Generally, I can winnow through the stack and narrow it down to a manageable pile; put another way, a lot of the stuff I hear is unremarkable (i.e. not worth remarking upon). But sometimes I’m awash in great music that I

Album Review: Dennis Coffey — Live at Baker’s

In the course of his career, Dennis Coffey has made a name for himself several times over. The Detroit guitarist was a key session player in that city’s music scene; as one of the famed Funk Brothers studio aggregation, he lent his skills to numerous funk and soul side of the 1960s and beyond. His

John the Martyr: Up From the Subway

Contrast is a useful and popular device in music. Fast and slow, loud and quiet, simple and complex: creatively combined, the differences can make for some fascinating and memorable music. A group called John the Martyr takes this old idea in a new direction, combining musicians of different generations. The 10-piece group is a collective

Shana Tucker’s Chamber Soul

Most musicians bristle at the idea of having their music labeled into a particular genre. But Shana Tucker is no ordinary musician. In fact her music doesn’t lend itself to easy description, so she decided to help those new to her work: she came up with her own label: chamber soul. “A lot of people

Lake Street Dive: We Want Them Back

Lake Street Dive has come a long way since the 2012 debut of its YouTube video, a cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” With 9 albums and/or EPs to its credit, the Boston-founded, Brooklyn-based group has steadily built upon its successes. Lake Street Dive’s origins were built upon country and jazz, but