soul Archive

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

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

Album Review: Bobbie Morrone — Lonely St.

In many ways, the current resurgence in pop-soul is not surprising. A significant segment of today’s listeners is always in search of something new. But at the same time they want music that evokes subtle, almost unconscious connection to the music of the past.  So music that sounds at least a little bit like Stevie

Hundred-word Reviews, December 2018

This will almost certainly be my last roundup of new releases – capsule review style – for 2018. Lots of great music came out this year; don’t let anyone tell you differently. As always, each of these albums deserves more coverage than I’m able to give here, and each warrants a spin (at least) by

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Two

Today’s three are all new, indie releases. David Duchovny – Every Third Thought A confession, right up front: when this album landed on my desk, my first thought was, “Uh-oh. Another vanity project from an actor who maybe played some guitar back in college.” A bit of belated investigation demonstrated that my attitude was wholly

Fantastic Negrito: We Can Turn It Around (Part 4 / conclusion)

Continued from Part Three… And even though Fantastic Negrito is now a high-profile Grammy-winning performer and recording artist, he still feels and maintains a close connection to that neighborhood. “The people I started my collective label [Blackball Universe] with, they’re all guys I grew up with,” he says. “We did everything – committed crimes and

Fantastic Negrito: We Can Turn It Around (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… The production on The Last Days of Oakland is “boxy,” and Xavier says that that quality is a deliberate aesthetic choice. “I wanted it to feel like I’m sitting right in someone’s living room,” he says. And I tried to minimize production; I was really going for a sense of urgency,

Fantastic Negrito: We Can Turn It Around (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… A 2014 EP titled Fantastic Negrito debuted Xavier’s new approach. Ostensibly blues, the five-song EP draws from a wider array of influences. Released to enthusiastic critical notices, the EP created a buzz but didn’t break through on a large scale. Undaunted and sure of his musical direction, Xavier created a low-budget