'the New Voice of American Soul', Experimental A capella
Classic soul is like a perfectly balanced meal. It nourishes your spirit, feeds your mind, and is good for your heart. When you think of the pioneering masters who served it up - Al Green, Otis Redding, Rance Allen, and Curtis Mayfield - you realize they were working from some sacred ingredients, taking lessons from church to bring hope to the streets. “My father was a preacher and, like most soul singers, I grew up singing in church. That is the route of traditional soul,” BRIAN OWENS explains. “Growing up, I would watch my father sing and see the effect it had on people. When he delivered a song, it was pure and genuine, and that’s what touches people and changes people’s lives.” The Belleville, St. Louis native was also weaned on vinyl platters by the Temptations, Wilson Picket, classic R&B anthologies, and Nat “King” Cole. His debut Moods And Messages is vibrantly vintage. Aesthetically it follows the groove gospel of classic 1960s and 1970s soul but it has a very “in the now” emotionality. Brian’s vocals are a revelation, purposeful and passionate...he remains his own stylist while recalling the sensual urgency of Marvin Gaye, the comforting falsetto of Curtis Mayfield, and tender grit of Sam Cook.
Reminding us that the human voice was the first instrument, Louisville's own sublime Sandpaper Dolls opens with their brilliant A capella work and vocal stylings reminiscent of Regina Spektor, Sixties girl groups and more traditional female jazz singers...a night of vocal prowess, indeed.