The Guitars

March 8, 2012

Wow! For a great slice of Motown-meets-60s-Bubblegum check out The Guitars debut release High Action! Perfectly produced, this Ohio quartet offers up seven songs of amazing soul-pop-bubblegum that takes you back at least 40 years in music history. With brilliant musicianship, some serious songwriting talent and a really gifted vocalist, these guys are sure to make some waves in the future.

Four releases so far, including tons of free downloads (including a X-Mas EP where they cover The Sonics)! The EP is also available as a vinyl 10″ so make sure you check them out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://theguitars.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.wearetheguitars.com/

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Donald Seward

January 25, 2012

Some great instrumental soul/funk jams are served up by French Canadian Donald Seward and his backing band on their debut offering Studio “B” Funk EP, released on Les Disques Pluton in 2010. Drenched in roots they got the sound down pat with a great rythm section, nice action on the hammond and horn section – with some occasional jazz flute too boot!

Three songs in total (four if you download) of great classic funk served up with fitting 70’s style production. If you’re into classic 70’s TV themes a’la Streets of San Fransisco or cult blaxploitation like Shaft make sure you check this out! Bio is in French I’m afraid so I couldn’t really make much out of it.

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://donaldseward.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://lesdisquespluton.com/

Pickwick

January 16, 2012

For some great, down-to-earth soul make sure you check out Seattle outfit Pickwick – a six-man band that’s already getting some well-deserved attention in print as well as the ‘Net. Recently earning a slot on NPR‘s 5 Artists You Should Know In 2011, the band delivers classic blue-eyed soul with just the slightest hint of Motown as well as some nice folky roots.

Great songs, good musicianship and excellent vocal delivery, they have three singles and a split EP released so far, and I gotta say my favorite is Myths, Vol. 2 released in 2010. Let’s hope there’s an album coming this year!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://pickwick.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pickwickmusic

Two Syllables Volume Six

January 11, 2012

Here’s a nice lil’ freebie from UK label First Word RecordsTwo Syllables Six released in time for X-Mas 2011! Compiling eleven tracks (twelve if you download) taken from the past year’s releases with some exclusives and previews added, you’ll get a nice cross-selection of modern soul, R&B and funk and great-sounding Dub.

A nicely varied compilation, the music’s got a healthy dose of roots mixed in and I gotta admit, when it comes to modern dancefloor music, this is the kinda delivery I prefer. Check it out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://shop.firstwordrecords.com/album/two-syllables-volume-six
Website: http://www.firstwordrecords.com/

Suedehead

January 3, 2012

Wow, wanna talk about instantly falling in love with a band? Orange County outfit Suedehead is made up various scenesters from bands including TSOL, Aggrolites and Beat Union and offers up a great blend of 60’s mod, soul and ska with a delivery that brings to mind early Elvis Costello. The band started out in late 2010, earning an opening slot for Social Distortion early on and is currently creating much deserved waves with their music.

Three EP’s has been released so far – both digitally and on vinyl – all showcasing brilliant songwriting, great musicianship and with a perfect production giving them a slight punk “edge”. It was damn near impossible choosing just one sample track – I Believe in Love is taken from their most recent The Constant EP released in October – so take your time checking out everything with these guys!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://suedehead.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.suedeheadband.com/

Alabama Shakes

December 15, 2011

Remember soul music? The good kind like Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding? Well, I was too young to experience it first hand back in the sixties and so far have been resorting to enjoying it immensely on my stereo, but am damn glad I’m around to experience The Alabama Shakes! Granted, underground garage outfits like Dirtbombs and The Detroit Cobras has done their fair share keeping the flame alive, but this band offers up originals while those already mentioned resorted to cover material. This Alabama quartet’s self-titled debut EP offers up four tracks of classic soul music that’s so damn good I’m getting goosebumps all over while listening to it.

Great music recorded without any studio gimmickry, the band has a Stax Records feel to it with a weird sort of Creedence Clearwater Revival quality thrown in, and with an amazing singer (Brittany Howard) to boot! Even though they leave you wanting more after the first listen, you just have to take that as a sign of them delivering the goods and patiently await their first full length.

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://alabamashakes.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.facebook.com/theAlabamaShakes