Titel: S.O.S. 4 - Blues For Your Soul
Label: KTBA Records
„Save Our Soul“ is a nonprofit charitable project, brought to life by American singer/songwriter
Marc Broussard, who supports various welfare facilities and initiatives with the proceeds generated from this series of albums. He covers mainly Soul as well as R&B treasures of different great artists from the 60s and 70s, giving them his very own touch with his distinctive yet soulful voice. The first S.O.S. longplayer, dating back to 2007, was released to generate financial support for a women’s and children’s homeless shelter.
But Marc also didn’t shy away from children’s classics, showcasing them with the 2019 release of “S.O.S. 3 – A Lullaby Collection”, brave to face the criticism of a young and possible blunt audience, and continuing to collect money for the good cause.
The idea behind „S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul” was to gather funds for the underprivileged youth of the country and the album delivers great music for a great cause. Thanks to Marc Broussard’s generosity a big portion of the proceeds will go to the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, in order to support rehabilitation for young adults through music. Connected is a partnership with Guitars Over Guns, a Miami based nonprofit organization, giving pupils in especially challenged communities an effective combination of music tutoring and mentoring.
This song collection has been available since March 2023 in record stores and for streaming. The protagonist now fully commits to the blues. And to ensure utmost authenticity, he collaborated with none other than the highly respected Joe Bonamassa. The latter not only proving his musical skills but also co-producing the album alongside Josh Smith. The result ist an exciting, dynamic and forceful piece of art, sparking an enormous roots-firework!
The record sleeve of „S.O.S. 4 – Blues For Your Soul” alone is worth a moment of quite admiration.
„I’ve got to use my imagination” was the second single released from album and is its opening song. Originally by Bobby “Blue” Band, from 1973, Broussard proves right from the start, that Joe Bonamassa was the right choice from his bag of tricks. The string artist contributes with his fascinating solos – here especially providing the hook-line -, not only in this song, but also on three more throughout the album, while Marc’s timbre is energy driven and powerful. “I’d rather drink Muddy Water” is impulsive just the same, a new interpretation of the late soul singer Lou Raw’s original version. The in 1933 born American won three Grammys and turned to jazz later on. And yet again, high-flyer Bonamassa adds a squeaky-clean solo to the song. Following are blues classics like “That`s what love will make you do” (Little Milton cover), “Cuttin’ in” feat. Roddie Romero, “Dreamer” or “Empire state express”.
Here’s what Broussard had to say about “That’s what lovewill make you do”: “To take on Little Milton was an enormous task. He’s got an epic voice, which did intimidate me. I just hope I could do him justice. I didn’t want to go all out, but we did want to leave our mark. I am glad, we got that done.”
Is there such a thing as a psychedelic blues? When listening to „I asked for water” you are literally sitting in the same room as the two men on the album sleeve. Originally by Muddy Waters from 1956, Broussard got support from singer/songwriter JJ Grey, famous with his band JJ Grey & Mofro. Fueled by hallucinogenics or just caught up in the blues, this trance-like piece lets you experience all emotional states, only to release you from its grip at the end. Yes, the psychedelic blues does exist.
There is one original song on “S.O.S. 4 – Blues For Your Soul” to be found. A collaborate composition of a trio – the protagonist alongside Josh Smith and Calvin Turner (American bass player, songwriter, singer, composer & producer) – “When will I let her go” – dealing with the loss of a relationship and the process of coming to terms with it all.
On „Locked up in jail” Marc gets support from the second producer of the album, Josh Smith. Together they perform a John Lee Hooker song. Compared to the original, Marc’s cover version sounds more forceful, stomping, dirty blues-like. You basically want to set the needle down at the beginning and listen again.
And so, the whole album is bursting with authenticity, dedication, and passion. Marc got just about the perfect producer couple with well versed Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, providing “S.O.S. 4 – Blues For Your Soul” with just the right amount of depth, openness, and warmth needed for such a piece. In addition to that, all the guest musicians – JJ Grey, Joe Bonamassa, Roddie Romero, Bobby Junior, Eric Krasno, and Josh Smith – are handpicked musical artists, adding tremendous value to the album.
Conclusion: What a cool album. “S.O.S. 4 – Blues For Your Soul” appeals with convincing cover versions of songs by great artists. Marc Broussard approached each and every one of them with respect and dignity and breathed new life into them. His voice couldn’t possibly be more fitting for this project. And that rich, powerful sound, far from the nowadays often present musical pablum, we owe to Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, who truly shaped the production and brought their own style to the final product.
"Translation". Sandra B.