Curtis Harding – Soul Power
Curtis Harding has been a back up singer for Cee-Lo Green, rapped with Georgian group Proseed, and worked with Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander in his garage/soul vehicle Night Sun. But the classic sound of Soul Power stems from earlier days travelling the country as a youngster with his gospel-singing mother and ex-veteran father.
The title is simple but apt. On Soul Power Curtis Harding blends Southern influenced blues and rock with 60s/70s soul but although he take his cues from past masters, Harding keeps his head firmly in the present. Stylistically, there is great diversity too. ‘Next Time’ features shimmering guitar riffs over a bed of keys and horns, which culminates in an organ solo that Deep Purple would be proud of. There’s definitely more than a hint of Stevie Wonder about the ending vocal frill of ‘Freedom’ which also showcases Harding’s guitar prowess. The dirty, swamp rock boogie of ‘Drive My Car’ is neatly juxtaposed with the neo-disco of ‘Heaven’s on the Other Side’ while Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander weighs in on punk rocker ‘Surf’.
Harding has learnt his craft well but more than that, there’s a depth to the music that comes from honesty in his lyrics and the heartfelt delivery.