Stan Mosley – No Soul No Blues
11 songs – 45 minutes
Stan Mosley is one of those artists who, despite an abundance of talent and hard work, never seems to have received the recognition that he deserves. He has been singing professionally since 1969, has recorded for various labels including Malaco and Mardi Gras, has won various awards including the Chicago Music Award (in 1982 and 1983) for Best Male R&B Vocalist, but still he flies under the musical radar of most blues and soul fans.
If there was any justice in the world, Mosley’s new album, the ironically titled No Soul No Blues, would change all that. Sadly, life being what it is, this is an unlikely outcome. Do yourself a favour, however, a grab a copy of this CD as soon as you can.
Recorded at Wire Studio in Austin, Texas, produced by Eddie Stout with engineering by Stuart Sullivan, and mixed and mastered at Lars Goransson Sound Outrageous in Austin, No Soul No Blues is absolutely stuffed with top quality blues and soul. Stout has cleverly paired Mosley with musicians who nail that soul-blues sound: the Moeller brothers on guitar and drums, Mike Archer on bass and Anthony Farrell on B-3 Organ. The Texas Horns (Kaz Kazanoff, John Mills and Al Gomez) provide superb horn support and Crystal Thomas joins Mosley on vocals on Wilson Pickett’s “Stomp” and The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next To You.”
The album contains a sweet mix of originals and covers, from Mosley’s own “Blues Man (No Soul, No Blues”, “Change Of Heart” and “Undisputed Love” and the Moeller Brothers’ “What You Need” to the likes of Robert Cray’s “Right Next Door (Because Of Me)” and Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Smell A Rat.”
Standing squarely in that soul-blues realm over which Little Milton and Bobby Bland reigned for so many years, No Soul No Blues pairs Mosley’s superb soul/R&B voice with Johnny Moeller’s always-outstanding guitar playing in a way that sometimes recalls the preternatural understanding and interaction between Johnny Adams and Walter Wolfman Washington. The slow blues closing track, “Undisputed Love”, is worth the price of admission by itself. The rhythm section on tracks like “Blues Man (No Soul, No Blues)” sets up an irresistible groove for the Texas Horns to drive over. And make no mistake, this is blues music, with a heavy dose of soul, as opposed to soul music with a hint of blues.
It is uplifting, engaging and bears repeated listening. The joyous laughter at the end of both “I’m Back To Collect” and “Stomp” perfectly captures the fun and enjoyment of the musicians making No Soul No Blues. There is nothing new or outside the box on this album. It is simply great music, played by masters of their craft and sung by one of the best soul-blues singers you may never have heard of.