Classic soul music, which ruled the urban airwaves till the mid-'70s, survives these days mostly as a connoisseurs' genre, preserved by dedicated indie labels. Emulating the chitlin'-circuit package tours typical of soul's golden era, Maryland's Severn Records has put two of the classic genre's better present-day practitioners out on the road.
At home with either a soul ballad or straight blues, vocalist-harmonica player Darrell Nulisch is as strong with his pen as with his pipes. His most recent set, Times Like These, is made up primarily of solid, savvy fare crafted by Nulisch and bassist Steve Gomes.
Soul/R&B belter Lou Pride may reside in Chicago, but his voice hails from deep in the South. If Hi Records had lost Syl Johnson or O.V. Wright back in the glory days, the storied Memphis soul imprint wouldn't have lost any hit-making momentum by picking up Mr. Pride. His sweet, stinging vocals resemble the work of both masters (with a dash of Albert King) and are currently showcased on Keep On Believing.