Tag Archives: soul

Bobbie Marrone’s Lonely St Album Brings The Sound of Reflective Soul

12 Jan

Lonely St by Bobbie Marrone showcases the highlights of life, love, and everything in between within the album. From start to finish, it took three years to complete the journey of this compilation of songs. Listeners will see immediately upon listening, that Marrone’s voice is full of raw energy, authenticity, and genuine feelings. With lyrics like “I’ve never been one to hide behind the walls, I’ve never been one to say” from the track Behind the Walls, one can see how Marrone connects and speaks to those who listen. Marrone has been making music since 2007, and 2018 isn’t stopping him. Lastly, his voice has been compared to the likings of John Mayer, Michael Bublé, and Bishop Allen. Hang in there a little longer for this album release date of February 4th, 2019! With an album titled Lonely St, you will feel anything but lonely listening to these carefully crafted stories and the accompanying music that has been created for eager ears to hear.

For more listening:

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Stand United for Great Divide

29 Jul

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Ok Music Court community, I have a serious question. Why does the following video have fewer than 9,000 views?

Does anyone else see this as a major issue? I think it might be a travesty, a horrendous injustice that needs some musical absolution. What’s the best way to apologize? Listen, of course. And, because I know you won’t be able to listen to the song only once, listen a few more times. Great Divide, a modern soul band out of Chicago, transforms soul music with “Moorie,” an untraditional Gospel piece that doesn’t fit neatly into the Stax or Motown mold, but instead paves its own silky smooth path in soul. The song can best be described as a 21st century hymn, a “Glory”-like piece in the mold of John Legend, but with more of a rock edge. Let’s do a full analysis of the song.

Josh Teitelbaum lays down a snap-inducing drum beat to sit neatly behind Jeff Leibovich’s polished piano riff. This combination creates an immediate fluidity to the piece, one that is aided by the array of carefully arranged vocals that start in full chorus. Teddy Grossman leads the euphonious mix of vocalists and he is aided by other band members and a choir (Vernard Burton, Zita Smith, Carya Holmes, & Martin Woods). Grossman’s voice has an easy potency; it commands the song but does so democratically, never overtaking any other vocalist, but instead driving the song forward with a buoyant tranquility. The verse features a soft bass and guitar, played by Josh Kahle and Jeff Burke respectively, that is analogous to lemonade on a summery afternoon. The song continues in this vein, and then, in case you didn’t have enough, Great Divide adds a booming 4-piece horn section that adds even more of the soul element.

My favorite part of the song is the combined vocal. That Gospel-like amalgamation of voices is both delicate and strong. All in all, “Moorie” should have many, many more listens and views, and thus get to doing just that everyone.

Follow the band on Twitter and Facebook.

Top 10 Songs of 2015 – #3: “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges

24 Dec

Leon Bridges

Here is an immediate fun fact about Leon Bridges. He is not Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, or Marvin Gaye. He is, however, young enough to be any of those singers’ grandsons. That’s surprising isn’t it, especially after you listen to the following:

Let me repeat my earlier statement: Bridges is not one of those seminal soul artists; that said, he is doing his best to assure that the legacy of these individuals is not spoiled. I am going to make a proclamation; it’s bold, I’m just giving you bold morning. If Bridges had been his age in 1965, we would be talking about him in the same breath as the singers I mentioned earlier. Bold, yes. Reckless, no. Bridges is already a consummate musician and performer; he is deft and adroit, a passionate performer and baby-face smooth singer. Bridges is tremendous in every sense of the term. If he represents the future of music, music is in good hands.

For an “oldies” music lover like me who adores both Motown and STAX records, Bridges is refreshing. He is a chip off the old block. He is what music should be, what it should sound like. And the fact that Bridges’ song “Coming Home” was a Top 10 Most Viral Track on Spotfy that is a good sign for the direction of music. His debut album of the same name as the title track hit #6 on the charts depicting an insatiable urge of individuals for pure, old-fashioned, unadulterated music. There are no special effects here. It is Bridges, a keyboard, two guitars (one of bass variety), and some drums. The formula for great music is not complicated. When I wrote about this song some time ago, I also had some flattering comments about the song, which I will share below.

“Coming Home” immediately takes on the feel of “You Send Me” with tastes of “A Change is Gonna Come,” and Bridges soft croon, a smoother Hozier (to make a modern comparison), has a rich Gospel feel to it that is just the right kind of sweet, not mawkish and not overpowering – it’s a voice that you can sink into, like silky gelato. The song itself is classic early Motown. It is carried by a bluesy piano and guitar mixed with traditional percussion. It is not difficult to imagine Sam Cooke or Otis Redding singing this song, and Bridges’ voice is not really a step down; heck, I am almost willing to go so far to exclaim that Bridges parallels the singers in a sense. Not too shabby.”

Bridging Ears Back to Soul

24 May

Leon Bridges

When I first heard Leon Bridges my immediate reaction was that Sam Cooke had come back from the dead. I’m serious. The black-and-white soul sound sent me back to that magical moment when I first explored the inception of Soul music: the early 1960s sounds of names like Cooke, Wilson, and King. Then, I shook myself out of this initial daze. Sam Cooke – A man widely regarded as one of the finest vocalists of all time!?! How could I make such a wild comparison? But, as I took more time to listen to some tracks off Bridges’ soon-to-be-released debut album Coming Home, I realized that the comparison, while lofty, was not ridiculous. Bridges’ voice “sends me” to the soul-saturated sounds of the early 60s, and, while it may not in full bring back the mainstream popularity of slow horns and vocal harmonies, the music is certainly bridging that sounds to the ears of soul ingénues.

Bridges, who was born in Atlanta and now resides in Fort Worth, reached viral success with his song “Coming Home,” which caught the ears of several and helped him secure a record deal with Columbia Records. The overflowing bucket of talent that Bridges exuded did not stay hidden for long. With the help of Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block from White Denim, Bridges recorded his first few tracks – employing the aid of vocalists and bands that helped complement the 60s sound. His renown and success will only skyrocket with his release in June.

Coming Home” immediately takes on the feel of “You Send Me” with tastes of “A Change is Gonna Come,” and Bridges soft croon, a smoother Hozier (to make a modern comparison), has a rich Gospel feel to it that is just the right kind of sweet, not mawkish and not overpowering – it’s a voice that you can sink into, like silky gelato. The song itself is classic early Motown. It is carried by a bluesy piano and guitar mixed with traditional percussion. It is not difficult to imagine Sam Cooke or Otis Redding singing this song, and Bridges’ voice is not really a step down; heck, I am almost willing to go so far to exclaim that Bridges parallels the singers in a sense. Not too shabby.

From the slower “Coming Home” to the early Marvin Gaye-esque “Better Man.” The song features a literal doo-wop backdrop that is combined with a sweet horn section. It is almost minimalistic in its approach, and perhaps that is what I like so much about Bridges and his throwback tunes. In a musical world dominated by heavy electronics where artist after artist attempts to impress with eclectic sounds and instrumentation, Bridges takes a more traditional approach, fitting a wonderful track into a little more than two minutes.

Bridges is an artist worth tracking. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or his Website.

Top 10 Songs of 2014 – #3: “Take Me To Church” by Hozier

9 Dec

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I’m going to go out on a limb and proclaim that Hozier had the best year of any Irish musician. That’s not a big limb to go out on though because Hozier has transcended the realms of internet popularity and has entered into the homes of a diverse range of music lovers. His sweet croon, lugubrious lyric, and rough-around-the-edges tint creates an aura of pious music with a hint of melancholy and malevolence. In that, Hozier creates an almost mystical persona that is all the more attractive to his listeners.

Hozier released debut EP Take Me To Church with the eponymous title track in tow back in 2013, but, like one other song on the countdown, I am taking into account when the song jumped in popularity, and that was during 2014. Since then, Hozier has performed on Saturday Night Live and is currently on an international tour with a slew of sold-out dates. The song and its singer have taken off into the stratosphere of music, and Hozier is well deserving of the accolades he has received.

Usually I avoid songs with 40 million YouTube views, but Hozier’s piece “Take Me To Church” is popular for good reason. His sultry vocal carries over drawn-out keys like a dirge. The song carries a dark overtone; Hozier knows the song is downcast and he is proud of it. This leads to Hozier’s unmistakeable chants of “amen,” which is untraditional in a pop song, but carries with sardonicism that is refreshing. It is almost anthemic in its darkness, and that is impressive. Excellent song that is a great #3 on the list!

Check out Hozier’s Website, Facebook, and Twitter

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