SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: CURTIS HARDING, Soul Food…Soul Power
by Kt Emmerson
I may be an 80’s baby, deeply influenced by the wavy, romantic, melancholy of an alt-college radio playset, but sometimes a sudden Motown riff, smoky R&B smoldering refrain, or 60’s psychedelic intonation demands I take a breath, slow my rebellious soul, taste a little salty backroom moonshine: back to the most essential ethanol and sugar content that makes music slay you, lay you low, eat your heart out.
Anyway, that’s what I thought of when I heard this gem by Curtis Harding.
Could’ve went to heaven
Put you in your place
Now we’re somewhere else
I’m staring in the mirror
I broke the fucking glass
Now I’m somewhere else
Living in the past
Great new music has just the right amount of influence from all of your admired favorites: garage, post-punk, swank R&B, psychedelic. Add ice, shake till frothy, top with vintage gold lame and a strong gin and tonic (speaking of, where is Duffy? I miss her). Let’s face it, we’re all living in the past. Buddhism might teach us to live in the present, but Gen-Xers just refuse to do that. I’d rather be sick and making meaning with my past than happily glad-handing my present.
I’m reminded of how many of my favorite 80’s bands that harken back to the soul sound…Simply Red, Yaz, Spandau Ballet, Bronski Beat (see if you can name a few) not to mention the ska influences like Fine Young Cannibals, Madness.
Try this little summer anthem, Heaven’s on the Other Side. I think I need a new tank-ini (that’s a bikini for the post 45 and three children in type, but still feel sexy—a few drinks in). I may only have a Walmart pool and Home Depot play-scape, but G-dammit, my gin works the same as it ever did and I’m still as cool as I ever was! Summertime ain’t (I’m from Texas, Y’all, I can say that) far behind you need a little soul food, a gin and tonic, and a Walmart pool. Nobody cares if you’re in last year’s one-piece.
Artist photo via Facebook
Curtis Harding Composer, Guitar, Mixing, Primary Artist, Producer
“Simply calling Curtis Harding a “soul man” feels reductive. Yes, his music is undoubtedly soulful and his songwriting is both evocative and provocative, but there’s more to his music than the stock imagery the label conjures. Harding’s voice conveys pain, pleasure, longing, tenderness, sadness and strength—a full gamut of emotions. Yet still, “soul man” seems too simple a description for a musician like Harding, a man who has lived multiple lives as a musician, participated in different scenes, and brought all those varied sounds and experiences together to carve out his own unique niche. The culmination of his experimentation is his latest masterwork, Face Your Fear (2017).” – bio (Anti-)