Whoever said soul music was dead clearly hasn’t listened to the debut album release ‘Baby Caught the Bus’ by nine-piece, Clairy Brown and the Bangin’ Rackettes.
I was converted into becoming a new age blues and soul fan since first hearing the Melbourne bands classy upbeat track “Don’t Say Don’t” from their self titled EP released in February this year. I have a real soft spot for trumpets and trombones, and “Don’t Say Don’t” hit the spot perfectly. It was fun, had my beloved brass sounds and I couldn’t help but feel a similarity to the bluesy numbers produced by Amy Winehouse.
In the latest album, lead singer Clairy Brown delivers more amazing flirtatious vocals and maintains the ‘doo wah’ mowtown feel. The opening song “Love Letter” delivers the aforementioned Motown sound perfectly, with soulful repeats by Clairy’s back up singers (The Rackettes), soft rhythmic drumming, and distinctive horns from the brass players, creating an suave song that you can’t help but strut to.
A listen to the rest of the album, makes it hard to pick out a weak spot, with such diversity that leaves you amazed at the adaptability of Clairy Brown’s voice. She sings gospel in “I’ll Be Fine”, adapts to the swing music in “Frankie”, and delivers strongly in the slow love ballad “You Don’t Owe Me Nothing” which rounds the album off splendidly.
The whole album is just a great listen that is guaranteed to get you thinking about listening to more soul and blues music.