As unlikely as it sounds, folk-rocker Nathaniel Rateliff has joined the illustrious ranks of such artists as Isaac Hayes, Booker T and Otis Redding and released an album on Stax.
The good news is that this debut album on the legendary US soul label is an out-and-out delight, full of sweaty, foot-stomping anthems, straight from the heart. This is soul with a capital S.
He might not have the towering soul voice of someone like Mike Farris or Paul Janeway (St Paul And The Broken Bones), but Rateliff gives it his all with plenty of grit and conviction. He genuinely brings the house down in glorious fashion on the gospel-flavoured S.O.B. and Howling At Nothing.
Kudos must also go to ace producer Richard Swift for giving the album an incredibly textured sound. It’s easy to do soul music really badly, but this is unquestionably the real deal.