Nigel Hall, Ladies & Gentlemen.... Soul redux is sweeping the nation, and that's a mighty fine thing to happen. Groups like Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and more are all putting their personal stamp on a highly evolving musical style. The common denominator in all of them is a mountain of feeling and the muscle to pull it off. Nigel Hall is a native of Washington, D.C. but has called New Orleans home since 2013, and it shows. He's got the all-time strut learned on streets like Tchoupitoulas and Frenchmen, and a studio full of downright funky players. Plus he knows how to write a song, which is really where it all starts and stops. With half the album originals and some knocked-out covers of classics by Latimore, the O'Jays, Ann Peebles and others, a better song list cannot be imagined. Something like Hall's "Gimme a Sign" bumped up next to Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out" is soul heaven, and a good indication that the world is still struggling to change in a downright righteous way, if it can just happen soon enough to save the planet. Here's betting it can, and music like this will surely lead the way.
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