MUSIC REVIEW: WMC ACTION NEWS 5

"This album is exactly what makes Memphis proud."

One of Memphis’ busiest musicians is Nick Black.  Whether he’s backing up Victor Wainwright on tour, playing guitar at South by Southwest with Eleanor Tallie in Austin, or working on his latest studio album, he hustles. 

His latest studio effort is “Deep Blue” and it blends the rhythm and blues feel of Stax with the modern pop arrangements reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience.”  This album is exactly what makes Memphis proud.  If you haven’t had a chance to see him perform, you need to do so. 

The first track on “Deep Blue” is appropriately titled Oceans, a great blend of soulful horns and modern guitar.  You need to check out the piano tie-in with Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  As a bass player, I love the syncopated bass lines in the chorus; so I’m a little bit partial to this track.

Another favorite on this album is Falling in Life. I especially like the trade off between electric organ and piano in this track.  The organ on this track, working with the horns, provide a soulful sound while the piano adds an upbeat feel in the verses.  This might not be what he was aiming for, but it reminds me of Steve Winwood or Bruce Hornsby.

This collection of songs is definitely recommended for fans of Memphis soul or modern rhythm and blues.  It’s also recommended if you’re cruising down I-240 with the windows rolled down.

- Justin Jaggers www.facebook.com/JJaggersWMC