Mike Wyatt – “Trouble”
-This is classic blues work here. The guitar has a ton of soul in it and the vocal feels genuine. The expressive lyric work shows off a true blues sentiment, the voice of the brokenhearted. Wyatt is the real deal when it comes to modern blues music. We look forward to hearing more from him.
Jake Feeney – “No headlights”
-This classic, crispy, engaging sound from Jake Feeney is difficult to categorize. It’s a dash of classic jazz with a modern, John Mayer-flavored guitar pop blues fusion? I don’t even know if there’s a category for this. But here’s what’s good about it… the whole dang thing. It’s about a broken heart and looking forward, but not necessarily in an optimistic way. It’s much more in the “gray area” of looking into the future. It’s a paradox that the genre and lyrics are so unclear when the guitar is so damn crisp.
Daisy Clark – “The Fires”
-Daisy Clark sings with soul. This track has a nice cool vibe to it that would be welcome in most jazz clubs across the country. The beat is chill and the vocal packs a punch. I had trouble deciding on genre with this track because it has elements of jazz, blues, and a lot of pop energy to it. But I have a hunch Clark’s vocal chops come from a classic jazz background. This neosoul track hits the right spot.
Matt Storm – “Hold on to this”
-If you’re a fan of the John Mayer style of modern blues pop music that hit the scene in the early 2000s, you’ll dig Storm’s sound. I really think the organ makes this song pop. It has a lot of good energy. It reminds me of something I might put on in a trendy high rise apartment after a long day at a white collar job. It’s got an air of sophistication you don’t often hear in older, raw blues music. I like it.
Bywater Call – “Silver Lining”
-This song has it all. The rhythm section and horns provide a wonderful base to the song. The lead vocal has a bit of a Janice Joplin vibe to it. There’s definitely a wild feeling to the track overall. It seems like it could have been performed at Woodstock, complete with some wild dancing in the mud. But those horns, wow. Where’s Wavy Gravy when you need him?
Yaielle Golden – “Everything”
-I don’t often feature neosoul because I am a stickler for a certain kind of soul music. It has to have a transcendent quality to it. Yaielle Golden’s tender vocal reminds me of Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. I mean that in the depth of my heart, too. Golden doesn’t need a bunch of flashy lights and sound effects to make the music stand out. It’s the soul. It’s the SOUL that you hear. I love this and am going to be following Golden’s rise to stardom carefully. (Can’t you just hear her singing “Somewhere over the rainbow?”)