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February 19, 2009 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Are there any contemporary musicians reviving the doo-wop / late 50s / early 60s soul sound?

I love soul music. I am well aware of the ongoing soul revival. Sharon Jones, the Daptones, Amy Winehouse, Bettye LaVette, Darondo, etc.

All these artists seem to replicating the late 60s/early 70s soul sound. Not what I'm looking for here.

Are there any artists the reviving late 50s/early 60s sounds? I am thinking early Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Four Tops, Temptations, Delfonics etc. Vocal harmonies, orchestral arrangments or instrumentation, songs about love & relationships. I guess I prefer male vocalists but I'm interested in anything applicable.
posted by gnutron to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Not male artists, and while they're not the best band evar, The Pipettes immediately came to mind.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:20 PM on February 19, 2009

Camera Obscura has a very retro sound and seems to be a throwback to the '60s girl groups. I don't know if that fits.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2009

Oh, and Gnarls Barkley's hit song "Crazy" sounds sort of like an updated Marvin Gaye.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2009

Best answer: Ricky Fante, or Ryan Shaw
posted by jbickers at 12:38 PM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Great answers all. jbickers really nailed it, tho - that's precisely what I'm thinking of. Those names also led me to Ruthie Foster, who sounds nice, too (although she seems to be on the soul/blues end of the spectrum)
posted by gnutron at 12:47 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man, I was going to suggest Ricky Fante, but I thought he might be too much in the late '60s/early '70s vein. Great, great singer, though... I saw him live around 2003 or '04 and he was phenomenal.
posted by scody at 12:53 PM on February 19, 2009

Desco Records was a short-lived but terrific label that specialized in this very genre. Everything I heard from them was great. One guy who founded that went on to found Daptone Records (Sharon Jones' label) and the other guy started Soul Fire, which I'm not familiar with.

Definitely check out the Desco stuff, if you can find it.
posted by Atom12 at 1:20 PM on February 19, 2009



best new band there is. Kinda reminiscent of Dusty Springfield

posted by Lacking Subtlety at 1:26 PM on February 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by methylsalicylate at 1:30 PM on February 19, 2009

There are some indie bands that fall under this category, tho they do it more twee than soulful. I'm thinking of late 90s-early 00s stuff like the Aislers Set and certain songs of Jens Lekman's.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:45 PM on February 19, 2009

TV on the Radio has some doo-wop-inspired songs. Not so much on the new CD, but on previous efforts (Young Liars, Return to Cookie Mountain).
posted by faunafrailty at 1:52 PM on February 19, 2009

Not exactly contemporary, but The Honeydrippers' EP is worth a (giggly) listen. Robert Plant wanted to revive soul and oldschool R&B in the early 80's.
posted by carsonb at 2:10 PM on February 19, 2009

seconding DUFFY, she's awesome!
posted by Wilder at 2:14 PM on February 19, 2009

Best answer: Raphael Saadiq?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:54 PM on February 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: omg that Rafael Saadiq album is perfect, too. i'm familiar with his old stuff but this is a different sound than i'm used to hearing from him. thanks swordfishtrombones!
posted by gnutron at 3:53 PM on February 19, 2009

Potomac Avenue already gave props to Aislers Set - I'll second them, Camera Obscura, and propose Saturday Looks Good To Me - a fine blend of Phil Spectoresque walls of sound and little bit of Beach Boys.
posted by anarchivist at 4:26 PM on February 19, 2009

Vivian Girls take some inspiration from doo-wop. they're v good
posted by citron at 4:28 PM on February 19, 2009

Little Red
posted by sconbie at 4:30 PM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Man, I just had to drop back in to remark how f*cking phenomenal I think Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It album is. I always knew he was a talented, versatile musician - but I am just awestruck by these songs. Now I just gotta convince my ol' buddy John Legend to make an album like this.
posted by gnutron at 5:16 PM on February 19, 2009

I haven't heard it, but keep meaning to check out Boys II Men's Motown tribute CD.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:29 PM on February 19, 2009

The God Damn Doo Wop Band?
posted by Demogorgon at 9:23 PM on February 19, 2009

Jamie Lidell's 2005 album "Multiply" is a little more eclectic, but is still essentially retro r&b/soul. My favorite tracks are Multiply and What's The Use.
posted by p3t3 at 9:43 PM on February 19, 2009

Not quite doo-wop AFAIK, but: The Puppinin Sisters.
posted by Drexen at 7:38 AM on February 20, 2009

Adele? She's new out of Britain and not even 20 yet. I think she just won a Grammy or at least was nominated. She's part of that Winehouse wave but I think she's much better than Winehouse.
posted by Piscean at 8:41 AM on February 20, 2009

Response by poster: Jaime Lidell and Adele are good suggestions, too. But I already know about them ;)
posted by gnutron at 10:39 AM on February 20, 2009

Best answer: James Hunter.
posted by shannonm at 10:31 AM on February 25, 2009

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