Seeking new R&B with an old Motown feel
November 5, 2008 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I need some new music that will fit well with Motown and Stax old R&B & soul.

I have a radio show that features old soul music and old R&B. There is also is some funk and jazzy stuff with a smattering of blues and reggae. But really, the backbone of the show is a cross between Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding.

I am seeking music from new artists that will fit in this show. I know my old stuff really well but I am completely disconnected from what is coming out today. I am looking for current music that captures a Motown sound or the super funky Stax sound.

An obvious choice is Amy Winehouse's Back to Black album. I find that Ronson produced music has that flair to it so I have played a bit of Santogold and such on my show. I have also played some music that he used to mix into his stuff. I really liked a remix of Dee Edward's "Why Can't There be Love" by Pilooski so well done remixes are welcome. I also liked Band of Bees. Any other suggestions?
posted by Foam Pants to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You're on the right track with Winehouse. Along vaguely-similar lines, there's also Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Dap-Kings, Sugarman 3, Nicole Willis, Menehan Street Band, Bronx River Parkway, Poets of Rhythm, maybe Antibalas, etc. The Daptone and Truth and Soul labels, among others, are good places to consider.
posted by box at 10:26 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings?
posted by peagood at 10:27 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Budos Band and Daktaris, too. Really, just go with everything from Daptone. Srlsy.
posted by desuetude at 10:37 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Not so new, but have you heard the Style Council's "A Solid Bond In Your Heart"?
posted by kimota at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2008

Jamie Lidell!
posted by mkb at 10:58 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Pushin 'On.

The Heavy - That Kind of Man (more Funkadelic than Otis Redding, but their other stuff is mellower).

The Eccentric Soul compilation features old but obscure R&B/soul tunes.
posted by googly at 11:03 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

2nding Sharon Jones (and anything on the Daptone label) as well as Jaime Liddell.

Also check out Bettye Lavette, Nino Moschella, Darondo, some of John Legend's stuff.
posted by gnutron at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lord Large's "Stuck In A Wind Up" seems like it could fit the bill.
posted by ktrey at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Raphael Saadiq's new album The Way I See It would fit in perfectly. His past work has mostly felt 70s-ish, but he's squarely in that 1966 era with the new one.

Worth checking out as well: Donnie, who sounds a lot like Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway. Also the UK soul singer Omar.
posted by YoungAmerican at 11:41 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sharon Jones: Already play her but not impressed
Bettye Lavette: Same, I wish I could like them both but I don't
Darondo: Already a big fan
Bronx River Parkway: I forgot about these guys!

There are a lot of names here to research, some I have heard of but never heard. I think my show will be seeing showcasing a few new names tonight. Excellent suggestions so far, I can't wait to listen!
posted by Foam Pants at 12:44 PM on November 5, 2008

seconding Kimota's recommendation of the Style Council's "Solid Bond in Your Heart," if you're OK with stuff from the '80s. Most early Style Council singles would work well, actually, given that Paul Weller -- himself a MASSIVE soul/R&B fan -- was consciously working in that very vein: "Long Hot Summer," "Walls Come Tumbling Down," "Shout to the Top," "You're the Best Thing," etc.

As a Weller fanatic, I am obliged to also mention his work with The Jam, particularly their late singles like "Town Called Malice," "Precious," "The Bitterest Pill," and "Beat Surrender" -- all extremely Motown-influenced. They also did a good cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" around the same time.

As for Weller's solo stuff, "Empty Ring," off his new album 22 Dreams is notable -- the first time I heard it, I thought it was a cover of some Marvin Gaye song I'd never heard before. He also did some demos/b-sides several years ago that are a little hard to find, but also very much in the same vein -- "Ends of the Earth, "Everything has a Price to Pay," etc. Drop me a line if you like and I'll burn some stuff for you.
posted by scody at 12:47 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Daptone (Sharon Jones' label) has a free MP3 sampler on Amazon. You might find someone else on the label you like. You probably already know this, but Amy Winehouse used their house band on her album.
posted by immlass at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Try Lucky Soul.
posted by MrVisible at 1:24 PM on November 5, 2008

Sharon Jones: Already play her but not impressed

She was fun to see in concert and all, but it's Budos and Daktaris that we have in heavy rotation in our house right along side the Stax box sets (along with the Ethiopiques series, which isn't what you asked for, but works well in the mix.)
posted by desuetude at 1:40 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Jessica Darling, on the new Herbaliser CD, does a few tracks that made me feel like I was listening to Sly Stone. Examples: one, two (quiet, sorry.) The first example is my favorite song on the album, actually.

These types of tracks are less than half of the album, though, so be aware before you buy.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:09 PM on November 5, 2008

Two thoughts:
Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 2:17 PM on November 5, 2008

Ooh, I can't forget Ricky Fanté!
posted by scody at 4:26 PM on November 5, 2008

Later Tindersticks albums, particularly Simple Pleasure, had a big R&B influence.

Mixing in some Trojan Reggae and Reggae-influenced Clash stuff like Sandinista would be great as well, though you probably already do.

Some newer electronic/hiphop/dance stuff that has the older music sound might mix in well, too. Try rjd2 (you know, that song on the Wells Fargo commercial that you can't get out of your head), even some Four Tet.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:44 PM on November 5, 2008

There are some songs on the new Estelle album that have that sort of vibe (largely because they sample such songs). I'm thinking of In the Rain and More than Friends specifically, but there may be others.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:00 AM on November 6, 2008

Eli Paperboy Reed!

bonus: the guitar player's stage name is Man Hawk.
posted by rhinny at 10:54 PM on November 6, 2008

Response by poster: These suggestions are great. I have added several of the artists mentioned to my show already and I feel it is an improvement. As I work my way down the list, I am sure to add many more. Thanks!
posted by Foam Pants at 1:29 AM on November 13, 2008

Hmm well I don't know if this would fit but I really enjoy "9th wonder" though he is more hip hop with motown tracks, but I really enjoy "Invented the Remix"
posted by Groovytimes at 10:43 AM on March 25, 2009

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