Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: R&B/Soul

Not since Veronica Swift's This Bitter Earth (Mack Avenue MAC1177LP) has a record cover been so at odds with what's in the grooves as this filled with funky covers Groove Note title from Vanessa Fernandez. Think of it this way: there are eleven tunes here from Childish Gambino, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Barry White, Maurice White and a few others and the mostly celebratory funk is in the air (with a mellow stop over in Bill Withers territory), produced by a... Read More

genre R&B/Soul format Vinyl

Van Morrison grew up listening to American blues and soul music courtesy of his father, a Belfast shipyard worker with excellent musical taste. No surprise that he moved to America and probably not because The Shadows of Knight's version of "Gloria" became a bigger hit in the USA than did his own version with "Them" released by U.K. Decca in 1964 as the "B" side of "Baby Please Don't Go". In 1965 with the American... Read More

genre R&B/Soul format Vinyl

One of the most fanatical groups of record collectors to emerge in the past decade are the (primarily western) devotees of a genre of Japanese popular music from the late 1970s and 80s, dubbed retroactively as ‘City Pop.’ City Pop, or in Japanese Shiti poppu (no I am not making that up), comprises a musical collective of soft rock, soul, R&B, funk, and disco artists whose rise in popularity and output mirrors the economic boom of the late 70s that transformed... Read More

Gil Scott-Heron’s Pieces Of A Man shouldn’t be relevant anymore. That is, it shouldn’t have to be relevant anymore, but it unfortunately still is. Since its 1971 release, its themes of racism, poverty, addiction, and the slight hope for a better future have retained a visceral urgency; partly because of Scott-Heron’s brilliant lyrics and powerful performances, and also because over 50 years later, the issues he wrote about continually worsen.Released on producer Bob... Read More