soul Archive

Album Review: Keb Darge Presents The New Mastersounds

As the leaders of the funk-soul boogaloo revival, The New Mastersounds have churned out along and impressive string of deep funk/groove albums, exploring the part of the musical Venn diagram in which jam-band and dance music intersect. With impeccable taste and even better chops, the foursome originally from Leeds UK (but now based in Colorado)

Album Review: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – Dap Dippin

Curated by Eddie Roberts of the New Mastersounds, Rare Sounds is a new subscription service that unearths gems from various genres, reissuing them on vinyl. The first round of releases included The Greyboy Allstars’ West Coast Boogaloo and the debut from Roberts’ band, Keb Darge Presents The New Mastersounds. The third record in that first

Album Review: Breakestra — The Live Mix, Part 1

A central component of some of the best hip-hop is the repurposing of tasty licks, breaks or other snippets from previously-record music, creating something new out of the old. Los Angeles-based Breakestra takes things a step farther (or backwards, depending on your point of view). However you describe it, it’s inspired. Breakestra’s debut album The

Album Review: Polyrhythmics — Man From the Future

Polyrhythmics are an eight-piece band from the Pacific Northwest. If your tastes run toward ‘70s fuk and soul, the current-day funk-soul revival of (primarily but not always instrumental) bands like New Mastersounds, you’ll luxuriate in the deep groove sounds of this outfit. But don’t go thinking that Polyrhythmics are also-rand traveling in the wake of

30 Days Out, April 2021 #2: Ashley Heath, Day & Dream, Hustle Souls, Travers Brothership

Well, it looks as if live music has now truly returned, after a fashion. Social distancing remains in effect, but the warmer weather opens up opportunities to enjoy live music in (relative) safety. For this welcome-back edition of 30 Days Out, I’m focusing on all local acts. Artist: Ashley Heath and Her Heathens Venue: The

Tower of Power: Towering Achievement, Powerful Homecoming

Tower of Power celebrates a half century of funk & soul with new live CD+DVD recorded in Oakland When Emilio “Mimi” Castillo launched Tower of Power with fellow sax player Stephen “Doc” Kupka, he never imagined that the Oakland-born soul-funk-r&b group would still be going strong 50 years later. And while members of the lively

Album Review: Elizabeth King — Living in the Last Days

It’s important that I admit this right up front: I’m not inclined toward the spiritual messages contained in gospel music. I’m not hostile toward them in any way; the whole thing is simply not for me. I mention this on background before discussing Elizabeth King’s new album, Living in the Last Days. For me to

30 Days Out, March 2021 #2: Pleasure Chest, Brother Smith, Empire Strikes Brass, 49 Winchester

The globe observed (certainly it didn’t celebrate) the one-year anniversary of the pandemic last week. While people continue to get sick and die from the infernal virus, the news does in fact get better with each passing day. And live music continues its slow, tentative return. If you’ve had your shot and are willing to

Things Get Better: Soul Man Eddie Floyd (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … That success extended well beyond Eddie Floyd’s records. In fact – as he recounts in detail in his new memoir, Knock! Knock! Knock! On Wood: My Life in Soul – Floyd got his start at Stax as a songwriter, not a performer. His first success as a Stax house writer

Things Get Better: Soul Man Eddie Floyd (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … During that “Knock on Wood” writing session, there was a torrential rainstorm going on outside. “In Alabama where I live,” explains Floyd, “the rainstorms can be fierce.” Even though “Knock on Wood” was shaping up to be a love song, he decided put that idea into it: “It’s like thunder,