Under the Sun/media dl
Solomon King – Under The Sun
When you look down the track listing for an album and see it populated with covers – many classics of their genre – you instinctively have strong forebodings of listening to ill conceived renditions that don’t deliver anything remotely resembling the concept of “imitation being the sincerest form of flattery”.
However, occasionally you are surprised when an artist takes these songs and brings new life to them by changing them to deliver a personal musical vision that respects the song’s roots without resorting to mere mimicry. One such artist is Solomon King.
To help deliver his vision, King has surrounded himself with a crack team of musicians that includes Ray Parker Jr (guitar), Ollie Brown (drums), Reggie McBride (bass) and Sylvester Rivers (keyboards/percussion) with background vocals from Shea Chambers, Elaine Gibbs and Cristi Black. I mention the names of these singers because their gospel infused harmonies are one of the real delights of this set.
King is blessed with a soulful and bluesy voice (somewhat like a white Robert Cray) that is equally at home on the Muddy inspired title track as it is on the funkily soulful “Ain’t No Love”. “Freaky” is deeply soulful, funky and bluesy, riding a mesmerising guitar riff – “Frankie & Johnny” has a seriously funky undertone that is enhanced by jaunty piano – whilst “You Look Good” is both funky and bluesy fired by percolating organ.
Add in earthy renditions of “Whiter Shade Of Pale” and “Tracks Of My Tears”, and a seriously funky “Jack Me Up”, and you have a fine set from an artist with serious potential. (www.solomonkingmusic.com) Rating 8 Mick Rainsford Blues in Britain Magazine