Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Sure Shots Of Soul

While I was confirmed in the United Church when I was younger, me and organized religion have since parted ways and I count myself among the agnostics of the world now. But I still get a dose of spirituality thanks to one part of my personal holy trinity (music of course; the other two being literature and film). Today's entry is all about feeling the spirit with a new gospel album out on the ever-reliable Daptone Records and a fantastic soul record from the folks at Truth and Soul.

The first of these is What Have You Done, My Brother from Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens. I heard about this one recently thanks to Justin - the MD at CFUV - who ducked out of official CMJ partying to take in a live show and raved about it. He's already calling What Have You Done... the album of the year. While my personal opinion is to award that accolade to Veckatimest (so far it's the one to beat in my books), I've been spinning this album a fair bit of late and with repeat listens it hasn't lost its luster. In fact it only gets better. An Alabama native who now calls New York her home (she plays a weekly Friday-night gig at the Fat Cat if you happen to be in the NYC...), Shelton has a wonderfully rich voice that is perfectly suited to the soul/gospel she sings. For proof, take a listen to "What Have You Done" and the b-side "I'll Take The Long Road" from the 7" available now (the full-length comes out May 26th but you can pre-order it here).

The second album that's been speaking to my soul is My World from Lee Fields & The Expressions, an album that's due out on June 2, 2009 on Truth & Soul Records. Mark your calendars now and remember to head down to your favourite local record shop a couple weeks from now to pick it up because as soon as you check out the mp3 of "Ladies" you're going to want this record. Fields released several 7" singles and an LP in the 70's but My World isn't some unearthed gem from yesteryear. It was in fact recorded over the past four years and features some stellar material you'd swear was classic soul. "Love Comes And Goes" could have come from that Four Mints record I wrote about last year, and the rhythm guitar on "Honey Dove" is so smooth it could out-seduce The Stylistics. With this and the El Michaels Affair albums, Truth and Soul are on a roll - I can hardly wait to hear what they come up with on the forthcoming Aloe Blacc record (Blacc actually appears on the My World bonus track "Truth, Deception & Lies")

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

1 comment:

Steve said...

Great post! Thanks for pointing these out !