I enjoy a variety of music genres so I figured maybe I can try to spread the love a bit and potentially expose someone to something they haven’t heard before. Of course, music, like many things, is highly subjective; what sounds heavenly to one person may be tantamount to a Baboon farting into a coffee can to another. That being said, If anything in this or future posts sounds like aural diarrhea to you that’s fine, it just means you’re wrong.
As the title suggests, the theme of this first installment is music with a soulful sound.
I went on a big Soul, Funk, and R&B kick a while ago and Sharon Jones is one of the artists I ran into during my journey. I was immediately drawn in by her strong vocals and “traditional” sound, and from discovering her I was able to branch off into other artists under Daptone Records, a label dedicated to providing a sound reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s.
James Brown was a big inspiration to Charles Bradley and he even spent some time performing as part of a James Brown tribute act, and when you hear his voice you’ll certainly see why. As another member of the Soul and Funk revivalist label, Daptone Records, I stumbled across Mr. Bradley shortly after hearing Sharon Jones for the first time.
Lee Fields has been in the business since the late 60’s but I’ve only come to know of him recently through his last few albums. As with Charles Bradley, listening to (and watching) Fields will likely have you thinking of James Brown, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that he has sometimes been called by the nickname “Little JB.”
Too be honest, I know very little about Booker T. Jones and I’ve yet to explore much of what he has been involved with beyond the track posted here, but I do enjoy this track and it’s plenty of reason for me to pursue his work further. What little I do know is that he has been active in the music scene since the early 60’s and is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter.
I first heard Nneka on Tricky‘s most recent album where her vocals are featured on the track “Nothing Matters,” after which I decided to check out some of her own work. I would classify her sound as soulful, but not strictly so, as it also contains elements of reggae (e.g. in “Lucifer (No Doubt)“), hip-hop, and R&B.
Pretty Lights is quite a departure from the traditional 60’s and 70’s soul sound found at the start of this post, but this electronic music artist has many tracks that have soul and funk influences mixed in with the electronic and hip-hop sounds. All of his work is available as free downloads, but of course paying for it is encouraged if you enjoy what you hear.