For 2021, we have two legendary artists, Larry Carlton and Paul Brown, who join forces to create some music that we did not know we needed.
Soul Searchin' is the name of the album, and because the two artists have worked with many artists in the past, the end result leaves us wondering why did it take so long for them to get together and do this?
The synergy between Larry Carlton and Paul Brown on Soul Searchin’ is impalpable. Their telepathic interplay, and joyful exchange create numerous moments to willingly get lost inside the music. Larry Carlton reveals their ingredient. “We have different musical backgrounds but, the common thread for Paul and I is that we both like melodic music with a great groove.” Joining Larry Carlton and Paul Brown on Soul Searchin’ are bassist and guitarist, Shane Theriot (who co-wrote many of the compositions), drummer Gorden Campbell, keyboardists León Besquera and Gregg Karukas, bassist Travis Carlton (Larry’s son), drummers Roberto Vally, Doug Belote and Gordon Campbell, trumpeter Ron King, saxophonist Greg Vail and percussionist Lenny Castro (Tower Of Power). Soul Searchin’ was recorded this past year and afforded Carlton and Brown the opportunity to give the music their undivided attention. Carlton shares, “The advantage of recording the album during the pandemic was that we both had more available time. Paul worked at his studio in Los Angeles and would send me tracks while I created at my studio in my home outside of Nashville.” Brown adds, “Honestly it probably would not have been possible in normal circumstances because both of us would have been too busy to get it done.”
This is a ten track effort, so let's dive into it!
Review - 'Soul Searchin' by Larry Carlton and Paul Brown
Miles and Miles To Go leads off. Like most of the album, the sound has a blues feel, but in a soulful way. The guitars are pretty insane, and they are definitely talking to the listener. The bassline is understated, but the drums really drive the track.
Stomp is the kind of track that would be playing in the background as you enter a dive bar in Nashville. Don't worry, you WILL be tapping your feet to this song as you enjoy the organ parts. To top it off, the horn section is in full effect here.
Gone Fishin' is also horn heavy, but it plays well with the aggressive guitars. This is the kind of song that will make the musicians break into a sweat, as you will surely feel the non stop energy throughout.
Hip Pocket is an apt name for this track, because the guitars are staying right in that pocket through the song. If anybody can make a guitar sing, these two certainly can. Lenny Castro is absolutely killing it on percussion.
The duo is letting loose with a little funk in Aftershock. The bassline sets the tone and we have everything going here, with the horns, some nice keyboard play, and of course the guitars are really keeping up with the energy of the drums.
Blues Skies is next. This is another one where the bassline is driving, BUT the guitar play is so effortless, it sounds like an impromptu jam session. We love the old school drum sample in the hook, which gives the song an added dimension.
If you are in the mood for some more blues, then check out Keep Truckin' On. If you are interested in learning how to play the blues, just press play and keep it going on repeat. The vibe is smooth with a hint of aggression. We will nominate this track to be the second or third single.
There is only one way to describe Say What's On Your Mind. That is...laid back. The track has a simple melody, and it is the perfect song for your lazy Sunday playlist.
You have one of those, right?
With Shelter, they break it all the way down to the essence, with just guitars and vocals. Paul Brown is on the mic for this one, and the visual we get is two friends just sitting on a deck, which overlooks the lake, as they just vibe together.
The title track, Soul Searchin' finishes up the project. We get a slow jam with an R&B feel. If guitars could sing, this is what they would sound like. With guitar play like this, you don't need any lyrics. Just let the feeling flow.
The Larry Carlton and Paul Brown collaboration, Soul Searchin' is some great fun. If ou like some R&B and funk with your blues, then you will need to add a couple of these tracks to your playlists. Check out the album on your favorite streaming service.