Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Aretha Franklin & Lou Pride: Soul Music

Artist: Lou Pride
Title: Words of Caution
Label: Severn

Artist: Aretha Franklin
Title: Queen in Waiting (The Columbia Years 1960 - 1965)
Label: Columbia

Good music moves your soul; it makes me wanna dance (or at least wiggle a bit). As a 'big music buyer' since 1971 I've often tried to narrow down the music I like best, late '70's punk, mid-60's British Blues rock, mid-50's electric Chicago blues, soul music... gosh, I just can't decide. This I do know, nothing beats a good soul record and both of these are excellent examples of how good soul music can really be.

What is soul music? Good question. Whereas blues is all about the beat, to me soul music is the blues with a more pronounced melody line and 'swing' in the rhythm. On his album, Words of Caution' Lou Pride reprises the finest blend of '60's soul with modern recording techniques and some 'on-fire' players. While the Malaco Record label technically still records modern soul music, their cost-corner-cutting strategy of using programming, synthesizer keyboards, and lack of audio texture from song-to-song cheapens their output into the 'unlistenable' category.

Washington D.C. based Severn Records (Darrell Nulisch, Mike Morgan & the Crawl) have yet again signed a relatively unknown talent and introduced the world to a vibrant artist with potential to continue releasing great records into the future. Using the keyboard accents and swaths of Severn stable artist Benjie Porecki and the seven-eight piece horn section, Words of Caution, is an excellent example of '60's soul music in a modern world. If you love the great old soul star like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, early Aretha Franklin, etc... you will find this album immediately accessible and wonderful.

This record will be spinning on KIWR's PS Blues radio program well into the future. The eighth track, 'Bringin' Me Back Home' swings with all the force of Memphis soul tornado.

Speaking of Aretha Franklin, you can't deny the true diva. If you happen to catch VH1's Diva programs, it was clear that all knees bowed to the still reigning Queen of Soul. Unfortunately, at least for me, her modern recordings hell bent on chasing modern sounds rather than falling back on Atlantic's Jerry Wexler's 1965 philosophy that lead Aretha onto Billboard's pop charts... put the Queen at the piano and let her sing. Instead she's covering crappy pop tunes with half hearted "Hot Producers" putting out albums that are, at best, forgettable. After mining the ancient archives of Atlantic's catalogue, including the wonderful 4 CD boxset on Rhino, Queen of Soul' I realized you can only listen to 'Chain of Fools' or the Otis Redding penned, 'Respect' so many times. My heart grew fonder while my ears yearned for something new; something exciting. God Bless Sony Music's Legacy Label line. With the July '02 release of the two CD set, 'Queen in Waiting' one gets to hear from pre-hey day recordings by the soon-to-be-crowned Queen of Soul. Primarily blues based, these recordings are tasty morsels that had hidden themselves from my wandering lust for more Franklin soul. 'Evil Gal Blues' and more, this set promises to add a new and exciting dimension to my love for that Detroit musical goddess of the church pew.

No comments: