Album Reviews

Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal

Live! Ancienne Belgique

Artist:     Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal

Album:     Live! Ancienne Belgique

Label:     Silver Street

Release Date:     8/10/2017

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Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal’s latest album may have been recorded in Brussels, but the music pulsates with the grit and intensity of Memphis and Muscle Shoals. Soul Colossal was assembled by front man Josh Hoyer in 2012. The deep grooves and spandex tight arrangements display the well-honed chemistry of a road tested band. Hoyer and his band perform a set that mixes sunny Memphis soul and scrappy funk. Hoyer’s weathered voice and the band’s deft musicianship shine on every track.

“Make Time for Love” is a great showcase for Hoyer’s passionate, gritty voice. Guitarist Benjie Kushner gets plenty of room to stretch out on this track. “Just Call Me” sports a bubbly, upbeat soul groove that’s buffed up by Mike Dee’s sax. Inspired by a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, “Don’t Turn Away” features some of Hoyer’s most passionate vocal work. While each chorus reminds the audience, “It’s on you, baby,” the tune’s muscular arrangement matches the emotion in Hoyer’s voice. The soul searching devotional ballad “Parts of a Man” is another great showcase for Hoyer’s vocal chops. Hoyer puts his heart into every note, and the band’s delicate musicianship brings the lyrics to life. Tracks like “Knockout” and “Running from Love” find the band taking a turn towards 70’s funk. Wah-wah drenched guitar from Kushner and a rock solid rhythm section anchor each tune.

Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal are an original voice with deep roots in traditional soul music. Listeners who long for the glory days of Memphis and Muscle Shoals won’t be disappointed by Live! Ancienne Belgique.

—Jon Kleinman

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