soul Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Three

And here’s the last of this current run of hundred-word reviews covering new releases. Soul, powerpop and blues; something for most tastes. All worth your time. Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer Don’t let the cheesy, lurid, chartreuse album art dissuade you from the contents: this is the real deal. Sonny Green is one

The Appeal of Fresh ‘Fwuit’

Dulci Ellenberger and her musical associates have been something of a moving target lately. For several years, the Asheville-based singer-songwriter-guitarist fronted Holy Ghost Tent Revival, the seven-person, ragtime-jazz-meets-rock band. That same lineup (which included bassist Kevin Williams and drummer Ross Montsinger) also booked shows under the name Big Sound Harbor, playing a set built around

30 Day Out, November 2020 #1: JJ Grey & Mofro, Russ Wilson, Empire Strikes Brass, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Is it November already? How did that happen? Things aren’t much better with regard to the pandemic, but we’re all continuing to find our way forward with regard to things like live music. The four artists covered below – two local to Asheville, two actually on tour – have found ways to bring live music

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars — Como De Allstars

The Greyboy Allstars released their debut, West Coast Boogaloo, in 1994. That album, a collaboration with the great Fred Wesley, was reissued on vinyl this year. Now – more than a quarter century later, a period that included a seven-plus year break for the soul jazz ensemble – they return with their sixth album, Como

Album Review: The Greyboy Allstars with Fred Wesley — West Coast Boogaloo

The Greyboy Allstars have a rich history. Funded more than 25 years ago, the soul jazz group came together originally to work as a backing band for DJ Greyboy, a major figure in the deep groove scene. The band continues to this day – with nearly the same personnel as when it began – and

Album Review: Maceo Parker — Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo

Maceo Parker is a towering figure in the soul/jazz/funk universe. He would be important if only for his work with James Brown, documented on many live and studio releases from the middle 1960s through the late ‘80s. But he’s done so much more: as a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Parker applied his talents in ever-widening

Book Review: Eddie Floyd with Tony Fletcher — Knock! Knock! Knock! on Wood

Eddie Floyd is best known for his 1966 hit single, “Knock on Wood.” Backed by the Stax band Booker T & the MGs, Floyd delivered a powerful, soulful and highly memorable performance, one that earned him a place in soul music history. He did a lot more of note before and after, though: he was

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