Jim Pinckney reviews the nostalgic r&b of Texan Lee Bridges.
The name may be new, but the music Leon Bridges is making is anything but. Drawing heavily on the soul, gospel and doo wop of the 50s and 60s, Coming Home, his debut album is already attracting some serious attention. His voice often bears an uncanny resemblance to the honeyed holler of Sam Cooke, and it’s accompanied by a Southern slant on the sort of immaculately imagined and recreated, retro musical backings that you might normally expect to hear from outfits connected to New York’s Truth and Soul, or Daptone, labels. It’s a powerful introductory statement. The gorgeous, evocative sound was conjured up by Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block, from Texan major label rockers White Denim. With organs that unmistakably point towards the pulpit, reverb drenched guitar and a resolutely solid rhythm section, Jenkins and Block’s gamble of throwing together a bare bones studio, and inveigling the cream of Fort Worth’s jobbing musicians to get involved, has paid off in spades.
Songs featured: Pull Away, Smooth Sailin’, Better Man, Lisa Sawyer, Brown Skin Girl, Flowers, River,