Title: mySOUL

Release: June 20, 2006

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mySOUL (2006) ... [+]
Completing this project has been an incredible journey. Many more tunes were considered and recorded to arrive at the collection you're now enjoying. There are so many incredible songs out there that picking just a few, proved a pretty logical, though exhausting, process. Lists were drawn up and edited and scratched out and added too... We tracked about 40 songs all told, which is to say, we plugged in and threw down the meanest, most artful, most reverent renditions. Only the magic was kept and the rest, thankfully, was wiped forever from the face of the earth (or at least the inner surfaces of digital hard drives.) Now what exactly constituted such a “classic and soulful” track that required us to cuss and fight and stew and toil over for so many late nights? Well, here's a brief window into the murky waters of the jacksoul psyche...
1. oneSONG (jacksoul original song) (full length preview) [+]
Why an original? It was ‘impressed’ on me that it was disingenuous to reveal such strong opinions on soul's history, if my opinions couldn't be backed up by a take on soul's future. Though it messed up my whole cover tune focus, I rebounded with this little number. I think music can heal and educate. If jacksoul never makes another recording, I'll always be proud that our music was a positive force, for not just love between couples, but love of self, community and the world. It's been a crazy place, this earth, since the last record. And if we could all exercise some true tolerance of each others existence, some understanding of each other's cultures and accurate knowledge of our common histories, we would then find ourselves in a much better world indeed.
2. My Ever Changing Moods (Style Council) [+]
By the 80s, white boys from Britain had grown up listening to enough soul music, that they were starting to produce some pretty great tracks with that throw back, classic vibe. This track was originally smoother with an emphasis on more falsetto harmonies, so we pumped it up a bit. It was amazing to hear British social commentary over a sweet soul melody, rather than being screamed over strains of distorted punk guitar.

3. Superfly (Curtis Mayfield) [+]
Like the field hollers and Blues that came before, great soul music has the ability to bridge the spiritual and profane, especially when discussing a man’s struggle with addictions, temptations and general no good behaviour. “Superfly” is a very honest, pre-gansta portrayal of street life. It's unapologetic, but not without pathos for a character who knows his path is ultimately doomed. Plus it's a supremely funky groove. Just can't fight it.
4. Love TKO (Teddy Pendergrass) [+]
One of the greatest voices to sing a love song also penned this great song of letting go. Timeless.
5. Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie) [+]
This track is irresistible. I remember finding it fiendishly funky when I was little, in a way I already knew, only the Brits were capable. It's a dense score to some barely defined madness. Each of the song’s sections is practically a song unto itself. Its most soulful aspect calls out loudly from the lyric. They are the schizophrenic ramblings of an addict. As a youth, I didn't know anything about that sort of struggle, so it was the feverish insistence of the bass lines and the relentless overturning drum grooves, which moved me to accept the convoluted verse that I couldn't fully comprehend. Twenty-some odd years later, all I hear are the vivid voices of friends I've lost to various compulsions and vices. Brilliant.
6. Try (Blue Rodeo) [+]
Am I the only one that hears a little Otis here? That's all I have to say.
7. These Eyes (The Guess Who) [+]
This is a Canadian classic from the year I was born. It is a Winnipeg twist on blue-eyed soul and I always thought it was the Guess Who's best track. We played this song at Burton and Randy's induction into the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2004 and people reacted like I was singing the national anthem at the Stanley Cup opener. Crazy stuff...
8. Been Caught Stealing (Jane’s Addiction) [+]
Now this track is so steeped in old school soul, it's crazy. It's a much lighter take on being bad and while I don't condone taking anything that you haven't earned, I have to tell you, this is one of the funniest, most honest lyrics you'll ever read about adolescence. ‘A bunch of kids acting the fool with too much time and too little to do?’ If there was ever an anthem for ever bush party you've ever been too, this is it. The guys were definitely channeling JB on this one.
9. High & Dry (Radiohead) [+]
One of the best tracks ever. The minute I heard it, I knew it was more then a "bullet" or "heat seeker" or whatever its chart position must have been that week. Some songs have great melodies and some have cute stories, but some talk so directly to your personal and spiritual reality, that they are not really songs anymore. They are a part of you. Life, (especially with the added complications of fame,) is like living a very surreal, make believe existence, which is only broken up at odd turns by startling moments of uncomfortable truth. This song is the soundtrack to those moments.
10. Pieces of Me (Ashlee Simpson) [+]
Now, there you go being a hypocrite hater. You know you sang this song in the car, in the shower, at the gym and in the damn grocery store. How you gonna act like you don't know this song? How you gonna act like you don't LOVE this song? That's what I thought.
11. It’s Over (Level 42) [+]
In my opinion, the best song these guys ever wrote. We hear so many anthems for the broken hearted. What about the heart breaker? Who hasn't brooded over the decision of how to let go? This song cuts right to the heart of so many great emotions and the chords alone could break you in half. One of the best soul ballads ever.
12. Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd) [+]
Eddie Floyd is not as recognizable a name as Otis Redding or Wilson Picket or Sly Stone, but his work through the 60s as performer and writer will stand the test of time. We had a great time laying this one down because it's not a song built on virtuosity or flashy licks, it's just about feel. And it feels damn good, don't it?
13. 1979 (Smashing Pumpkins) [+]
Call me crazy, but by the 90s, it was the rock band churning out the soul tracks... Tracks that you knew would transcend genre and time and deliver some real-ass stories. This song lyrically captures so much about "de yout' " and seamlessly fuses a soaring melody with pulsing beats. Can't fight it.
14. Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke) [+]
One of the most powerful spirituals I have ever heard, not to mention the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. A record exec quite seriously accused me of committing "sacrilege" by attempting to improve upon this incredible song. For the record, my intent was never to improve upon any of these works. The goal was to interpret great soul tracks from the last half century, works that continue to inspire me, and in this case, a work that I'm confident will inspire other people (black, white, yellow and brown) if only they knew it existed.


discoGRAPHY (click for more info)
SOULmate (2009) mySOUL (2006) RESURRECTED (2004)
Sleepless (2000) Absolute (1996)  


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