Friday, August 1, 2014

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens: Cold World/ Live Performance Review

Daptone Records out of Brooklyn, New York is the site of a soul resurgence, pumping out tunes that stand toe to toe with the best the Motor City had to offer. Artists like Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones are among their heavy hitters, but Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens have knocked one out of the park with the incredibly masterful "Cold World".

I was lucky enough to catch the record release and performance at Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday the 29th. After gracefully obliterating a few paychecks on some great records, me and my friend entered the refreshingly small (I prefer smaller venues, more personal that way) venue located in the back of the store, and was greeted by the sweet sound of early 60's soul. The atmosphere was great as the crowd piled in to witness what I can only describe as a shooting star performance, an amazing show that tragically was only 45 minutes. But compacted into that 45 minutes was undoubtedly some of the most well crafted and heartfelt soul music that my ears have ever had the pleasure to hear. I was smitten, right at the front dancing to the slow, the sweet and the upbeat pieces that the band was effortlessly tackling. My loafers were a tad small and were cutting into my feet, but it was impossible to stop dancing, and I never even thought to. When the show wrapped up I was floored, and recovering from what was undoubtedly the harshest workout of my Summer so far. Soon after, a raffle for a signed 45 that paired Naomi with the house band of the former soul label Desco, the Knights of 41st Street, that consisted of the sought after "Forty First Street Breakdown" on the A and the instrumental version "Catapult" on the B commenced, and swiftly ended with me taking home the gold! I stayed after and was able to get my copy of the LP signed by members of the performing band and the artists who performed on the record, and the Gospel Queen herself!  To say the least, it was a LONG train ride home that night, but what a satisfying needle drop that was! I could do a track by track review of this album, but it would do absolutely no justice. This is a must buy album, and any one who's got even the slightest bit of soul inside them will find something to love here. This sophomore album will hopefully be one of many, and I can't wait to see what these guys have to offer next!

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