Classic Soul Revival

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. This is not “neo soul.” At least it’s not what’s been commonly described that way ever since R&B acts started channeling ‘70s influences in the ‘90s. “Neo classic” is a more apt term, when we’re talking about the likes of Sharon Jones, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Raphael Saadiq, and James Hunter, who may toss in some ‘70s shadings here and there but keep their musical template firmly rooted in the ‘60s. You can hear the influence of everything from the sweet Chicago soul of The Impressions to the emotion-wracked moan of James Carr. While Brooklyn’s Daptone label leads the pack, with artists like Jones, Charles Bradley, and Naomi Shelton, neo-classic soul can pop anyplace where there’s a band with a sense of history and a singer willing to lay it all on the line.