What Have You Done, My Brother?Album |
A new take on gospel-soul salvation.
Brooklyn's Daptone label is best known for delivering contemporary twists on vintage R&B via the likes of Sharon Jones, Budos Band, et al, but with Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, the gospel-soul salvation of the Soul Stirrers and the Staple Singers is the sound that's flung forward into the current millennium. A key difference between this sixtysomething belter and some of her younger labelmates is that Shelton isn't paying homage to an era she admired from afar. She's been living at the intersection of gospel and soul pretty much all her life, but now her raw, throaty singing style is finally getting an airing in the wider world under the Daptone aegis. Her band, led by keyboard man Cliff Driver and containing members of her label's house band The Dap Kings, cranks out a Booker T.-goes-to-a-Baptist-revival-meeting groove under a combination of old-school tunes and vital new compositions by producer/bassist Gabriel Roth. The simmering insinuations of the hip-shaking, minor-key title track alone are enough to land this disc in the best-of-'09 list, and that's far from the only highlight here. Listen and be lifted.