Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul
SUMMER OF SORCERY
A Very Rock & Soul Summer Soundtrack.
Stevie Van Zandt is many things, and I won’t bore you with a list (as it would be very long); and with so much going on in his work life I think he forgets that first and foremost he’s a Rock n Roller of the finest hue in his very own rites!
I was first aware of this release about a month ago when his PR Company sent a list of forthcoming releases and this diamond was tucked away in the middle…… no fanfare, no dancing girls, no fireworks…… nothing. At RMHQ we believe Little Stevie Van Zandt deserves a a big whizz band furore whenever he releases a new record; but we are funny like that.
Steve himself must think so too, the way The Disciples of Soul throw every they have into the intro of Communion which ‘blasts the bloody doors off’ the start of the disc! For a man who has lived the life he has, Van Zandt’s voice doesn’t deserve to be this good, or indeed ‘sexy’ on a truly explosive R&B infused Rock n Roller.
This is followed by the first and possibly the biggest surprise here, Party Mambo ……. but why the Hell not? Steve has always had a love of music from all 4 corners of the world (check out his radio shows) and I’m sure this delightful little missive will be a highlight of his imminent tour, probably kick starting the encores?
There is something here to please everyone; with the gorgeously epic Rockers Summer of Sorcery and Superfly Terraplane sitting alongside the swinging 60’s R&B of Soul Power Twistin’ and Vortex, while the band get their funky party groove on with Gravity; and the surprise is that it’s no surprise at all that this heady concoction works.
He’s done it before, but for me Stevie hasn’t quite cracked the lovelorn crooner act before as well as he does with Love Again and more especially the creamy smooth Suddenly, during which he embraces his inner Bobby Darin.
Finding a Favourite Track this soon hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure this choice will change as I delve deeper into each track over the coming months; but this morning I’m going for the feisty and powerful A World of Our Own over I Visit The Blues because I love inflection and warble in his voice on the former whereas the latter is exactly what I’d dreamed of and hoped I’d hear again from the Prince of Little Italy, therefore less of a surprise.
OK there are elements of E Street Band in here; and why not; but there’s also plenty of nods to Curtis Mayfield, Joe Cocker and maybe even Stevie Wonder in the shadows of a couple of tracks too…… but this is 100% Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul at their finest and indeed, grooviest from start to finish.
I love the way the album swoops and sweeps with highs and lows that will blow you away the first time you hear it; and a few times you will find yourself instinctively going for the replay button; don’t just sit back and enjoy the ride……. it’s like a winding trip at sunset along the coast in an open top sports car.