Album Reviews

Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal

Running From Love

Artist:     Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal

Album:     Running From Love

Label:     Silver Street

Release Date:     04/08/2016


Like a huge gust of prairie wind that’s been building for miles and miles, Hoyer and Soul Colossal unleash their convincing soul and R&B that will sweep you away like a howling storm. You probably wouldn’t guess that the band hails from Lincoln, Nebraska given the power of their horn-drenched sound that calls to mind Tower of Power, the Average White Band, or Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears. This is the hard working road band’s third full release, having changed their name from Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers. Front man and vocalist Hoyer also mans the keyboards. His six piece unit features a trombonist and saxophonist with a rhythm section and guitarist to lay down steamy, nasty funk. The group plays as an ensemble, shunning lengthy solos except on the closer “Soul Mechanic.” That one and others like “Searchers” and “Knockout” are foot stomping soul shakers that are nicely balanced by crooning ballads like “Parts of a Man” and “The Evening Train.”

Hoyer maintains an upbeat outlook that is reflected in the lyrics. As he says, “We are constantly writing our future history. We believe that it’s our work, ideas, drive and conviction that will continue to show that love is the only path to righteousness.”

This is the band’s most fully realized project to date, partly due to the production of Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) who was utterly floored by the band’s live show. He took the band to Nashville, where the album was recorded. Inspired by all those classic sounds of Stax, Motown, New Orleans, the Bay Area, and Philly, this band blends those influences and bristles with so much energy; you might just get up and start dancing because you can’t sit still. It’s easy to understand why Coomer was so impressed.

This recording will be available on vinyl as is a short, six songs live recording, Cooked Raw. Hoyer and Soul Colossal will be touring behind the album with dates in major Midwest and Southern cities. If you’re fortunate enough to be in one of those markets, shake yourself out of your sedentary state and give this band your ears and feet.

-Jim Hynes

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