The Soul of John Black is a celebration of the African American musical heritage. On Black John, JB masterfully combines soul, gospel, funk and hip-hop, while tracing its roots all the way back to its humble origins - the blues. JB infuses his uniquely crafted music with contemporary urban rhythms and hauntingly earthy acoustic slide guitar which at once pays tribute to a bygone era of such legendary figures as Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, while boldly crossing over into new innovative territories and sonic frontiers. Backed by notable musicians Adam McDougal on keys (Black Crowes, Macy Gray, Maroon 5, Nikka Costa), Oliver Charles on drums (Ben Harper, Rhythm Roots All-Stars), Scott Seiver on drums (Nikka Costa, Inara George), Jake Najor on drums (Carl Denson, Connie Price, Breakestra), Shawn Davis on bass (Beck, Nikka Costa), Davey Chegwidden on percussion (Rhythm Roots All-Stars, Bitter Sweet, Ghost Face Killer, Big Daddy Kane), and Bill Botrell on 2nd guitar (Grammy winning producer for Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne, and many others), The Soul of John Black has reached a new plateau; transcending the crossroads and arriving upon an unexplored intersection on the aural highway. It's soul music for a whole new generation.
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Seamless blend of blues, R&B, funk and soul
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 02/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The third album from guitarist John Bigham (Fishbone, Miles Davis) continues to explore the intersection of blues, R&B, funk and soul. Having co-founded the group with bassist Chris Thomas for 2003's eponymous debut, he assumed the lion's share of artistic control on 2007's The Good Girl Blues, and here provides the songs, vocals, guitar and production. Blues and gospel provide the underlying progressions, but this is anything but "straight eight," with electric bass and piano guiding the music towards the blend of soul, R&B and funk heard on the group's first album. But neither is this a mash-up of styles, as the elements are smoothly absorbed into the whole, rather than stitched together patchwork-style. Bigham's guitar is here, but it's his elegant and thoughtful vocals that are the album's star, with elements of Al Green, Prince, Sly Stone Lenny Kravitz, and Isaac Hayes all figuring into the results. Fans of old-school funk, `70s soul and contemporary blues will all find this to their liking. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"