As I sit here still suffering from computer woes, I have to tell you about a great little CD I heard a few weeks ago by the young soul artist Ellis Hooks.
It’s called Godson of Soul and it came out on the Evidence label last year. I ran into it a few weeks ago during one of my frequent record store CD hunting expeditions and it quickly became one of my favorite CDs.
Hooks is a relatively young (late 20s) Southern born gentleman who has the uncanny ability to channel Sam Cooke and Al Green whenever he wants to. That’s right: he plays vintage soul of the highest order but does it in-the-now, baby. This ain’t old sessions from an unknown found and released – this is the freshy fresh done with the old school flava!
Old rock hand and (I am sure) friend of co-blogger Gary Pig Gold (yes, Gary – Intercourse is what I am talking about – the album, that is!) Jon Tiven and his wife Sally have produced all of Hooks’ albums including this one and done an excellent job of capturing the old Stax and Hi Records’ sounds. Tiven himself is worth a few columns and his soul tributes on Razor and Tie featuring Gary Pig (among many others) paying props to Don Covay and Arthur Alexander are delightful.
But Hooks is what I am writing about today. By the way, search out his other three records. Most are on Evidence but I believe his debut from 1993 is out only as an import. I have searched them out in the past few weeks and they are all equally great.
To see a new artist go after the old sound and be unashamed about it is refreshing and wonderful as hell. Artists like Hooks and Joss Stone are giving me faith in the music business again. A bonus with Hooks is he can write some hellacious lyrics and with his good looks and talents there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to put the puzzle together and hit it really, really big. I believe he just needs an “in” right now – to do some work or a duet with some established artist on a “big” album. He could do it on his own, but let’s face it – he’s fighting all of the scum in the music business.
If you are a fan of old soul like Green and Cooke and would like to hear what they did done on a contemporary level without all of the Michael McDonald/Taylor Hicks/Michael Bolton cheesiness, check out Ellis Hooks – you won’t be sorry.
The Music Nerd Knows……..