soul Archive

Album Mini-review: The New Mastersounds — Made for Pleasure

Bill Dahl and I Discuss “Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63-’73”

From a critical perspective, there’s not a whole lot to be said or written about Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63 – ’73. One either gets it, or doesn’t. Suffice to say that if you would enjoy hearing the contents of a jukebox in a 1960s African American juke joint, or if you dig the

Hundred-word Reviews for September, Part 6 of 8

Today I take quick looks at excellent reissue and compilation releases from three labels that excel at that kind of thing: Omnivore Recordings, Light in the Attic and Real Gone Music. Low Down Original Motion Picture Soundtrack The 2014 film tells the story of jazz pianist Joe Albany and his (ultimately unsuccessful) attempts to break

Shuggie Otis: The Music Keeps Calling Him Back (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Bill Kopp: A lot of highly-regarded musicians have named you as an inspiration. David Byrne was instrumental in the first [2001] CD reissue of Inspiration Information. Lenny Kravitz has said great things about your music. And I hear your influence in some of Prince‘s music. Those are just two examples. What

Shuggie Otis: The Music Keeps Calling Him Back (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Shuggie Otis: But the songs kept calling me back. A song would be really good, and I’d think about it, and realize that I have to face whatever it is that’s bothering me about this song. It might be something personal. It’s not not necessarily that the song has anything to

Shuggie Otis: The Music Keeps Calling him Back (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: You sent demo tapes to many labels, but nothing happened for years, until the reissue of Inspiration Information with the added Wings of Love material. That you finally got the notice you deserve seems to be more than luck. Why do you think you’re getting noticed now after being

Shuggie Otis: The Music Keeps Calling Him Back (Part 1)

“I look back now,” says Shuggie Otis, “and I think, ‘Wow. I must have a lot of patience!’” The multi-instrumentalist is reflecting on the curious arc of his career so far: his fame began in earnest when he was a young teen, continued into his early twenties, and ended abruptly after the relative commercial failure

Album Review: The Complete Stax Soul Singles Vol 3: 1972-1975

Nearly a quarter century ago (April 30, 1991 to be exact), a lavish, 9CD set called The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968 was released. Housed in a large box and featuring liner notes in book form, the set provided a handy (and nearly exhaustive) chronicle of the Memphis label’s output from its beginnings up through the

Matthew E. White’s Calibrated Subtlety

Matthew E. White has been musically active for many years, including collaborations with Megafaun and the Mountain Goats and three albums with avant-jazz group Fight the Big Bull. But as an artist recording and touring under his own name, he’s a relative newcomer. The story making the rounds is that White’s debut – 2012’s Big

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 8

Today, it’s five more capsule reviews. It’s great stuff all, dating from the 1970s. Stories – Stories Untold: The Very Best of Stories The, um, story of Stories in inextricably tied up with that of the Left Banke (“Walk Away Renee”). The music on this set from Real Gone Music draws not only for the