Artist: The Nightowls
Album: The Fame Sessions
Label: Super Sonic Sounds
Release Date: 09/04/2015
These ten young white guys and gals from Austin, TX, prove that music transcends race, age and place of birth, as they write, perform and record a truly wonderful soul record. The group traveled to the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, enjoined original Swampers David Hood and Spooner Oldham and background vocalists the Shoal Sisters (great name!) to help out, and proceeded to ever-so-slightly update the classic sound.
The disk is a tad short at eight songs, but the groove is deep. Although all songs are new and penned by the band—principally vocalist Ryan Harkrider—they all have that powerful groove exemplified by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and the Staple Singers, just with a little more youthful spring in the step than the ˊ60s’ sound.
All eight are solid tunes; “Get Up!” features a classic horn section designed to get feet stomping, arms waving and blood pumping, while “Highline” has a smoother groove which primarily targets the hips, if you get my drift. My favorite is “Avalon,” with its insistent beat, punchy vocals and driving guitar which combine to make the song positively irresistible.
– Suzanne Cadgène