Modern, soulful, and Motown-esque
July 25, 2010 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Hook me up with neo-soul, jazzy, Motown-y music with a modern twist in the vein of Raphael Saadiq, Aloe Blacc, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Janelle Monae and anyone else awesome.

I've seen these questions. Of those suggestions, I like Sharon Jones pretty well, Adelle is good, and I'm not particularly fond of Ricky Fante, Ryan Shaw, or Ruthie Foster—they seem too...common, I guess. I'm digging Little Red, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Since I don't really know how to describe what it is that separates what I like from what I don't, here's some more stuff I like. Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come is another favorite. I want more of a Motown feel than girl-group doo-wop, although I'm open to that if it's innovative. Mainly I want funky, soulful-but-upbeat music that makes you go wow. Is it out there?
posted by Captain Cardanthian! to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oops. "These" was supposed to go here.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 1:27 PM on July 25, 2010

You probably already know, but John Legend is pretty consistently great, though sometimes a little pop-ier than the classics (and Saadiq as well). Save Room is probably my all-time favorite with that opening keyboard riff, but he's got lots of other good stuff.
posted by dnesan at 1:31 PM on July 25, 2010

Daniel Merriweather (recommended song: "For Your Money")

Amerie (recommended song: "1 Thing")

Mayer Hawthorne
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:41 PM on July 25, 2010

Best answer: Eli Paperboy Reed
James Hunter (very Cooke-ish to me)
Naomi Shelton
posted by dobbs at 1:53 PM on July 25, 2010

I'll also second Hawthorne. I love this track.
Nicole Willis
posted by dobbs at 2:06 PM on July 25, 2010

Here are a few others I'm not very familiar with but who might fit the bill:

Joy Denalane
Corinne Bailey Rae
Amp Fiddler
Leon Ware (has actually been around since the '70s, but is still making new music)
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:10 PM on July 25, 2010

Also, is there a reason you're only looking for contemporary stuff? Are you familiar the old stuff that didn't chart or isn't remembered as well?

James Carr
Spencer Wiggins
Doris Duke
Denise LaSalle
Esther Phillips
Arthur Alexander (Beatles covered the first track)
Frederick Knight (Lambchop covered this track)
Tyrone Davis
Candi Staton
Laura Lee
Sugarpie DeSanto
posted by dobbs at 2:37 PM on July 25, 2010

Suite 903 is pretty much dedicated to this stuff- they post lots of mixes, new tracks etc so you can try out a lot of stuff.
Also, try Maxwell.
posted by cushie at 3:16 PM on July 25, 2010

This sort of music has had a huge revival over the decade (thanks in large part to the Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings). As a result, there are several labels that focus on just this sort of thing:

Daptone:Home of Sharon Jones and Naomi Shelton among others.
Truth & Soul: Home of Lee Fields
Tru Thoughts: Home of Alice Russell, Belleruche (another one), Kylie Audilist, Spanky Wilson, and The Bamboos
Timmion: Home of Nicole Willis and Myron & E
Freestyle Records: Home of Randa and The Soul Kingdom
Record Kicks: Home of Dojo Cuts, Baby Charles, and The Underbelly

Some great artists from other labels:
Kings Go Forth
The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
The Diplomats of Solid Sound featuring the Diplomettes
Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos
Georgia Anne Muldrow
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2010 [3 favorites]

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