Shawn Lee – Soul In The Hole

March 30, 2009

shawnleesoulintheholeIt’s good to be a fan of Shawn Lee, London based American multi-instrumentalist, since he’s prolific enough that each year brings at least two, sometimes three, Lee releases, some albums fully instrumental, some vocal, some a combination of both. His latest LP, Shawn Lee Presents Soul In The Hole, is 11 tracks of “old school soul,” to borrow Lee’s phrase, and, wow, is it good stuff. The time period Lee is emulating falls somewhere around the late 60’s to the mid 70’s, and the production is designed to sound like music released during those years, complete with horn sections and washes of strings. This is an approach to music not unlike Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band, with similarly excellent results. Lee provides the vocals on a handful of tracks, though he mostly leaves those up to a talented array of guest vocalists, including Nicole Willis, Fanny Franklin, Karime Kendra, Paul Butler, Darondo, even his wife, who is billed here as “Mrs. Lee.” For soul fans, I think this will be a true delight, for those new to Lee’s unique musical genius, this is a great place to jump on board, as this is his best vocal record yet. Standout cuts: “Jigsaw,” “Land Of Soul,” “Cruel Woman” and “The Stuff.”


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