Natural Born Hustler

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal

Color Red Records, 2021

http://www.joshhoyer.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/22/2021

An extremely adventurous outfit from Lincoln, Nebraska, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal is well versed in soul, funk, and blues, and they inject their vast influences into this very retro-fueled 10 track album.

The fun starts with “Hustler,” where psychedelic nods and bluesy ideas are complemented by Blake Deforest's sturdy trumpet and Hoyer's inimitable and inviting vocals. “Whisper” then follows and injects Benjie Kushner's precise guitar work alongside restrained drums from Harrison Eldorado in a more vulnerable climate that's their version of balladry. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Moving along, “Sunday Lies” resides in funk territory that benefits from Mike Keeling's animated bass skills, while the energetic “The Night” births a nostalgic setting as Hoyer's incredible singing leaves us in awe of his soulful craft. Elsewhere, “Take My Chances” brings grooves in spades as R&B nods arrive alongside trombone from Luke Annis.

Landing near the end, “Gimme That Lovin” showcases talent from all the players on hand in a bright and textured album standout. “Ring The Bells” illustrates a gospel angle from Hoyer and company where much attention to rhythm is accented by the piano skills, too, that would sound right at home in Memphis.

Natural Born Hustler seems like it might have been made in the '60s or '70s, but it certainly sounds just as timeless and appreciated today. The album was recorded straight to tape with minimal overdubs, giving it a spontaneous, live feel that allows their energy to be showcased, as well as their beauty on the softer selections.

These Nebraskans have been quite prolific since their debut in 2013, and for a band that has been together for less than decade, they possess a dynamic that many others will never achieve. For fans of the sounds of Stax, Motown, New Orleans, Philadelphia, or San Francisco, it would be wise to pay attention here.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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