Soul Power

All white soul singers insist they grew up listening to Sam Cooke.
Diablo Cody

Depending on who you ask, my favorite male vocalist is one of the unsung legends of blue-eyed soul, Bill Champlin. If you doubt his soul credentials, you should know that he’s not really doing covers of the tunes “Turn Your Love Around” and “After the Love Is Gone” in the following videos. He co-wrote them and won Grammys for his trouble…

There’s no getting around it–this genre’s all about White boys singing in a style that wasn’t originally meant for them. Now, I don’t want to get into a long musicology lesson about cultural appropriation, blah blah yadda yadda. But Champlin, Bobby Caldwell, Hall & Oates (Screw you, I like Hall & Oates. If you can’t hear the brilliance in their Abandoned Luncheonette album, I feel sorry for you!)–they’ve got respect.

And that gives me hope.

From the info I’ve gleaned about them after listening to their music over the years, these guys just played and sang what they wanted to play. And for as much praise as they’ve received, they’ve taken some crap too. It kind of resembles the crap my subconscious feeds me about my writing. “You ain’t got no business.” Or, “You’re not writing what the market demands.” Or, “Yeah, quit trying to be a wannabe [insert one of my 20 favorite writers here].”

Again, it comes down to perseverance. Perseverance doesn’t always silence those voices. But it gives you something to do as you strive to shut those voices the hell up. Now, that’s some soul power right there.

2 thoughts on “Soul Power”

  1. Hey I like Hall and Oates, too! T-Bone played awesome bass, and DeChant on saxophone was amazing! and you know Sara Smile, their first top 10 song was in their style and about Hall's girlfriend. SO keep writing your way about things your passionate about!

  2. When I think of all the times I missed G.E. Smith when he'd come and hang out at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch, I could kick myself.

    Writing the stories you're passionate about really is the only way to go!

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