Album Review: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – Natural Born Hustler
The Color Red label has quickly and effectively established itself as the home of current-day retro-soul/boogaloo, issued on good ol’ vinyl. Some of the artists – Color Red’s founder Eddie Roberts, for example – are well-known. Others, like Josh Hoyer, less so. The thing is, Color Red’s track record is such that I’m more than inclined to check out a new (or new-to-me) artist if said artist has the label’s effective seal of approval.
Lucky me. Because this album is rock solid. With a voice that reminds ever-so-slightly of David Clayton-Thomas (Blood Sweat & Tears) crossed with a less histrionic Joe Cocker, Hoyer is a commanding presence. And the band is, in a word, supatight.
It’s not all beefy, fur-on-the-floor music, either. The aptly-titled “Whisper” is a sultry slow burn that underscores the fact that subtlety can speak loudly. There’s a Southern soul/pop vibe to these songs, one that suggests Stax/Hi influence, but in its execution, the music doesn’t ape the tropes or sonic cues of Memphis (great and immortal as they may be). Time spent with this album will be rewarding.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.