soul Archive

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… The electric fusion group drew inspiration from across the musical landscape, combining sounds the likes of which one might find on a Miles Davis album of the era with a funky soul and r&b sensibility. Among the Oblivion Express’ most beloved recordings is a scintillating Auger original, “Happiness is Just Around

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… Not long thereafter, Auger was leading an organ trio at a Manchester club called The Twisted Wheel. There he was approached by a “rather tall guy.” Long John Baldry, as he was known, was a household figure in British music, having been a guest on two Beatles TV programs. Baldry asked

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 1 of 3)

New collection of classic and rarities from the celebrated music figure Organist, composer, vocalist and band leader Brian Auger is best known for his work leading two bands: in the ‘60s he launched The Trinity, a pioneering soul/jazz/rock outfit featuring powerhouse vocalist Julie Driscoll. And in the early ‘70s Auger pursued ambitious yet accessible jazz

Randall Bramblett: Lucky That Way

The music business has a built-in tendency to categorize artists: they’re a rocker, a country act, a jazz cat, a rapper or something else. And in those relatively rare instances when an artist ventures even slightly outside of his or her appointed lane, they earn the crossover-artist tag. Yet there do exist a few extra-special

EP Review: Diplomats of Solid Sound – The Live EP

This nine-person ensemble released a fine album, A Higher Place, in 2019. That was my first exposure to the Iowa group, but I soon discovered that they have been together more than two decades. So any suggestion that they’re following on or bandwagon jumping is egregiously wrong. The group’s latest release is a five-song collection,

Album Review: Chris Lujan & Electric Butter — The Real Thing

A couple of months ago, I wrote a Metro Silicon Valley feature about Raza del Soul, a California record label dedicated to preserving old (and celebrating new) Chicano soul music. Headed by J.M. Valle, Raza del Soul does important work that also happens to bring wonderful music to today’s listeners. In addition to reissuing 45

Album Review: The Freeway Jubilee — On the Horizon Volume 1

The close vocal harmony that opens “In Motion” sets a mood and establishes a high bar. The first track on The Freeway Jubilee’s On the Horizon Volume 1 is suffused with positivity and enthusiasm. And the band’s appealing mix – augmenting rock’s traditional guitars/bass/drums configuration with baritone and tenor saxophones – highlights the deep connections

Raza del Soul’s ‘Revolución del Vinilo’

In California of the 1960s, a style of music known as Chicano soul (sometimes referred to as brown-eyed soul – took hold among listeners. Groups like Cannibal & the Headhunters (“Land of a Thousand Dances”) and Thee Midniters (“Whittier Boulevard”) thrilled audiences and achieved some measure of national success. But as prevailing styles came and

Graham Parker: Those ‘Soul Shoes’ Still Fit

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Graham Parker first came to the attention of American audiences during the punk and new wave era of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. As a result, he was sometimes mentioned in the same breath as acts like the Sex Pistols, but musically he had relatively little in common with the

Album Review: Etta James — The Montreux Years

Announced in March 2021, an archive of historically significant musical recordings is now beginning to be shared with the wider listening audience. Run by Claude Nobs, the highly regarded Montreux Jazz Festival hosted some of the biggest names in jazz (and beyond) in Switzerland for its annual concerts. In a new arrangement with BMG, selected