Preview Don't Give Up On Love by Don Bryant.
Don't Give Up On Love by Don Bryant
The release of a genuine Soul album is a treat and, when they come as good as Don’t Give Up On Love, we are very lucky. Don Bryant has all the credentials to fill a page, which would confirm his place in the pantheon of luminaries from the heydays of Soul: but is the album any good? Yup, it’s superb.
We’d like to think we know a bit about Soul music here on the Americana Music Show with the sublime Candi Staton making our end of year best of list in 2014 with Life Happens and undoubtedly Donald Bryant’s release must be a contender.
The sound is authentic and sympathetic to the era with excellent mix and production.Tony Ives, Americana Music Show
As if picking up from the early 1970’s, Bryant, and his record label - Fat Possum, deliver a stand out album of 10 tracks backed by a tight band with an awesome feel. The sound is authentic and sympathetic to the era with excellent mix and production. This band includes old pals Charles Hodges, Archie “Hubbie” Turner and Howard Grimes of the famed Hi Rhythm section and from the Gregg Allman Band trumpeter, Marc Franklin and saxophonist, Art Edmaiston. For me it is the fluid horns that wrap themselves around the chorus and vocals that makes this the real thing.
Bryant will be best remembered, up until this point, for his work as a staff songwriter at Memphis’ Hi Records. This hit factory had a ledger of artists who carved their own place in Soul music history – Al Green, O.V.Wright, Syl Johnson, Willie Mitchell, Otis Clay and, Don’s wife of 43 years, Ann Peebles.
You will love this voice. The soulful voice slides across all these tracks interpreting them with emotion and perfect timing.Tony Ives, Americana Music Show
However, Bryant had a solo career before becoming a staff songwriter and, man, he can sing. You will love this voice. The soulful voice slides across all these tracks interpreting them with emotion and perfect timing. We start with O.V. Wright’s 1971 hit "A Nickel & A Nail" and just listen to the horns – a signature sound which will make you think of Ann Peebles and her arrangements. The rest of the band demonstrates its talent but just adds enough whilst never being intrusive. Bryant sails along and the heartbreak pours out. Hell, what a start…
"Something About You" comes next and we’re into into a sublime Otis Redding or Al Green groove and it is classic Southern Soul. Several of the songs are Bryant’s compositions that were hits for the artists on the roster and so are road tested and a delight to hear again.
Gospel music is a foundation of much Soul music and "How Do I Get There" is a wonderful lamentation seeking knowledge of attaining a better more tolerant world. Given his Memphis roots and the turbulent ‘60’s then this has considerable poignancy.
Picking highlights is genuinely like trying to select which twin to rescue from a house fire but "One Ain’t Enough," "What Kind Of Love," and "It Was Jealousy" would, for me, be hauled out of the building.
So if you like Soul and know the classic releases then this is simply perfect and or if you’re interested to see what it is all about then this is the place to start.