Diggin’ rhythm & blues; reincarnated early nineties rock



Fresh from a recent trip to Spokane to visit family and friends, I’m back into my blog and ready for some fresh summer music from a couple of new artists that span the spectrum from 21st Century smooth to old-school, Stax-influenced rhythm and blues. There’s also good news for those who loved the artists that brought us Seether in the early nineties.

First up, is Stacy Barthe, a gifted songwriter/singer who produces John-Legend-inspired mix of soul and R&B. She may be best described by this excerpt from her website, http://www.stacybarthe.com:

Like only the most daring and gifted of musical artists, Stacy Barthe transforms her own hurt into songs that uplift, inspire, and fortify the soul. On BEcoming—Barthe’s full-length début for Motown Records—the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter boldly details her experience with suicidal depression, her troubles with drinking, and the triumph and struggle of her 180-pound weight loss. Throughout the album, Barthe graces that storytelling with her gorgeously powerful vocals and the sophisticated song craft … Raw and uncompromising yet stirring and sublime, BEcoming proves both aching and joyful in its exploration of the complexity of the human condition.

Wifee and Huzzband, led by Ruby James and Stephen Cooper, hail from a brass-influenced, old-school side of R&B. I hear sixties girls group with maybe a little Macy Gray in Ruby’s voice. She describes the band on its website, http://wifeeandthehuzzband.com:

We are a 10 piece, original music heavy band with Full Horn Section and a DJ in our entirety pulling from influences of old Soul, Motown, 50’s-60’s Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues and some Funk. People often ask for a word or two to explain the sound and how to sum all that up into one word, I have no idea. We’re the “New Vintage”, “New Classic Soul”, or how about just Bad Ass! … Most of our Original songs have been written by (Copper and James).

And, for those who dug the last wave of distinguishable rock, the original members of Veruca Salt have reunited and released a new album. The band’s tour starts July 19 in Hollywood. Think Wheezer, Mike Watt, Geraldine Fibbers, Pearl Jam, Clinton Era politics, tartan minikilts, slip dresses, baggy jeans, and bomber jackets. Aah, the fuzzy comfort of nostalgia.


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