soul Archive

‘Stax 60’ Album Release Campaign Features 10 Albums by 10 Legendary Artists

The venerable and legendary Stax Records was started 60 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally doing business as Satellite Records, the label founded by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton (and later hemled by Al Bell) would go on to release a catalog of staggering quality before falling victim to a host of problems that would

Evolfo’s Garage Soul … Now With Pizza

After years of shuttling back and forth between the group’s Boston hometown and gigs in New York City, seven-member band Evolfo relocated to the more creatively fertile landscape of Brooklyn. Guitarist Matt Gibbs says that moving here “shook up my views on music. It made me want to push things harder.” Keyboardist Rafferty Swink concurs.

Tuxedo: “Perfect is Boring.”

Tuxedo is a retro-funk duo fronted by two established artists. Mayer Hawthorne made his name as a modern-day soul crooner with a style firmly rooted in the music of his Detroit hometown. Seattle-based Jake One is a hip-hop producer and member of the famed Rhymesayers Syndicate. Both have earned Grammy nominations for their past work.

Six New Jazz Reviews

Gerald Clayton – Tributary Tales (Motéma Music) Clayton has an impressive family pedigree in music, but hs own career deserves serious attention. As Musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Clayton rubs elbows with some of the biggest names in jazz. But the pianist’s work holds up – and quite often towers above – that

Three More New Album Reviews

Cody ChesnuTT – My Love Divine Degree File next to: D’Angelo, Shuggie Otis Atlanta-based Cody ChesnuTT is the kind of artist who frustrates and fascinates – in equal measure – both critics and fans. His 2002 debut, The Headphone Masterpiece was roundly praised for its quality, all the more remarkable for having been a lo-fi,

New Music Review Roundup, Part 3

Today I wrap up three days’ worth of reviews of new music. Dig if you will. The Pollyseeds – Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 As far as I know, none of the music on Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is used on the soundtrack of the Amazon Original series Bosch, but – like that crime

Samantha Fish’s Soul/R&B Side Trip

Kansas City musician and vocalist Samantha Fish made a name for herself as one of relatively few female blues guitarists. She prefers to be measured on her own merits rather than as a female musician, though a 2011 album as part of a project called Girls With Guitars didn’t help much in that regard. But

Album Review: John Gary Williams

Memphis-based Stax Records had a long, impressive and tumultuous history. The label that was home to legendary artists like Booker T & the MGs, Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes produced a staggering amount of “southern soul” in its heyday. But bad luck and a host of other problems (best chronicled in Rob Bowman’s exhaustive history

Musoscribe’s 8th Anniversary Post: Four from Playback Records

Today I’m celebrating the eight-year anniversary of this Musoscribe online music magazine. I started the blog in June 2009, but I had already been writing for many years. Eventually I went back and archived nearly all of my pre-2009 work, back-dating the pieces (if somewhat arbitrarily). So now you’ll find nearly 2,500 posts – reviews,

Album Mini-review: Chicano Batman — Freedom is Free

File next to: War, Mayer Hawthorne, Sly & the Family Stone The spirit of late-sixties psychedelic soul is alive in Chicano Batman. On this collection of twelve socially aware originals, the Los Angeles quartet – augmented with an alluring female vocal chorus – makes some of the best music of its career. Musically, Freedom is