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It’s not a Soul Revival, It’s a Good Songwriting Revival


Mayer Hawthorne in a moment of reflection

I had never heard of Mayer Hawthorne before yesterday when i was looking up some of this years best movies and albums (to download). I found some tasteful lists on Paste Magazine which i had heard of but never really perused carefully.

But i ran across Mayer Hawthorne as one of the top 25 albums of 2009, super soulful and funky i was surprised to hear such sounds coming fro ma jewish white boy from michigan. Maybe i should not have been surprised as such, but his crisp soulful throwback sound took me by surprise. Allusions to Curtis Mayfield keep popping up in my head but i encourage you to listen and make your own parallels to any soul musician of your choice. On the Stones Throw website he cites Curtis and Smokey Robinson as the musical aquifer from which he draws his inspiration.

The “retro” tag is added to almost any contemporary work that sounds like it was originally recorded between 1966 and 1974, and Hawthorne, among the newest contributors to the genre, is aware of how trends come and go. After being introduced to Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf by mutual friend Noelle Scaggs of the Rebirth, even his current boss was skeptical. “He showed me two songs and I didn’t understand what I was listening to,” Wolf recalls. “I asked him if they were old songs that he did re-edits of – I couldn’t believe they were new songs and that he played all the instruments.”

from the stones throw biography

Another interesting note is his production credits, which include all the instruments on his records including 2009’s A Strange arrangement.

side note: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from De facto, At The Drive In and The Mars Volta is signed to Stones Throw Records. #download, love that guy.

I also discovered The Dead Weather a side project featuring Jack White from the White Stripes as well as members of other bands like the Raconteurs, the Kills and Queens of the Stone Age doing some wicked music making thats WAY better than the stripes. Super Band, UNITE!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 02/14/2010 14:33

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