Southern Soul Connection: Natural Flavours

An egoless collaboration celebrating the roots of blues and soul.

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From Olivia Newton-John through to The White Stripes and hammer-licker Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton’s Jolene has been adapted for different musical persuasions countless times. Yet Jo Harman and the Southern Soul Connection have still managed to give the song a fresh charm and beauty.

But what would you expect from one of modern blues’ brightest upstarts? She leads this loving collaboration of top quality bluesmen through some truly gorgeous songs that are, thanks in part to Steve Watts’ wonderful Fender Rhodes-playing, as smooth as a fine whisky. Brent Carter’s warming tenor provides the perfect contrast to Harman’s eloquent falsetto on Loving Arms, while their take on John Lennon’s Jealous Guy is slower and sassier. Scott McKeon’s soulful licks help broaden the dimensional qualities of the song too. In short, this is blues in true, raw and awe-inspiring fashion.

Phil Weller

You can usually find this Prog scribe writing about the heavier side of the genre, chatting to bands for features and news pieces or introducing you to exciting new bands that deserve your attention. Elsewhere, Phil can be found on stage with progressive metallers Prognosis or behind a camera teaching filmmaking skills to young people.