I've re-christened my blog to convey a change in directions as a writer. The focus here at Confessions will still be on DJ'ing via a sociological and historical perspective but as filtered through my own observations as a long-time music industry worker and avid record collector.
One of the most anticipated debut albums of this year comes from none other than a sixtysomething veteran soul and gospel singer, Alabama's own Naomi Shelton. L...egendary gospel bandleader Cliff Driver channels the musical spirit of Muscle Shoals via the style of The Staples Singers. What have You Done, My Brother? is a traditional gospel album right down to the cover art. Shelton's raspy voice recalls legendary gospel singers like Mahalia Jackson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and with the inclusion of Daptone Records' house band, the Dap-Kings, the album boasts a dash of hipster coolness. Shelton's strength is her ability to recall a melancholy yearning for truth found only in the best songs of masters like Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. This moodiness and intensity adds a weighty dimension that willnot only capture the imaginations of the secular revivalists, but also provide a warning to the faithful of what bad living will earn them. Rarely do artists have it both ways, and yet here's this anachronistic release from Shelton that does just that. Closing with a rendition of Sam Cooke's stirring "A Change Is Gonna Come," Shelton somehow makes it feels fresher and more righteous than the large majority of her pop peers.