Bobby Patterson

I Got More Soul!

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Bobby Patterson is a journeyman soul veteran who has worked as a producer, songwriter, and radio disc jockey as well as cutting a fistful of fine R&B tunes for Abnak, Jetstar, and Paula Records in the '60s and '70s. If Patterson never quite broke through to stardom, he clearly learned a lot during his heyday and hasn't forgotten a bit of it; I Got More Soul! is that rare example of a soul veteran cutting a new album that sounds every bit of fresh as the sides that made him a cult hero back in the day. At its best, I Got More Soul! sounds like the best Stax Records release you've never heard, complete with the sustained organ undertow, the sweet and sour horn arrangements, and the just-behind-the-beat rhythm section, and even though he was close to 70 years old when this was recorded, Patterson's voice is in great shape, with plenty of streetwise bluster and close to the same range and just as much control as he had in his youth. Patterson co-wrote eight of the ten songs on I Got More Soul! with members of his band, and he hasn't lost the knack; "Let Me Heal It," "It's Hard to Get Back In," and "I Feel the Same Way" are cut from the same cloth as classic '60s soul without sounding like obvious retreads, and "Everybody's Got a Little Devil in Their Soul" nods to vintage gospel while putting Patterson's own streetwise spin in the lyrics. And whoever thought it would be a good idea to turn the Dirtbombs' "Your Love Belongs Under a Rock" into a proper soul workout was absolutely right. While co-producer and bandleader Zach Ernst certainly deserves plenty of credit for getting the sound right, Patterson is clearly a man who still has the goods, and while plenty of retro-soul acts work hard to give their albums a vintage feel, I Got More Soul! sounds naturally funky and full-flavored, and judging from this material, Patterson really does have more soul than just about anyone, and the means to show it off to the world.

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