Train is a solid album from beginning to end. Solomon pays homage to traditional blues, but plays the Blues in a style all his own. He takes the best of the Old-School Blues and mixes it up with some Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Bo Diddley. He adds in some rock elements of Cream, the Rolling Stones, and George Thorogood. He blends in the singer/songwriting vocal styling of Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and Don ‘Doop’ Duprie. Mix this all together and you have what is called Solomon King.
Under the Sun's "Jack Me Up" and "Frankie & Johnny," both were featured on two episodes of HBO's Golden Globe winning “True Blood”series, followed in 2009 with a Grammy entrant nomination as Under the Sun was considered for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Review by Playboy Magazine contributor Ashley Jude Collie
Today’s charts are jammed with sappy performers who can’t really sing and don’t play instruments and who are created by record companies with the sole purpose of milking our kids of their cash. Did I hear some exec say, “We just need customers who are like sheep and go baaaaaaaa, and performers who have their dance routines down pat!”
Face it, when it comes to modern music it’s all about being served a load of pop and pomp. . .PAP!
But every now and again, something makes us want to shout, “Hold on, what’s that?” and then, “Drop a freakin’ needle on that record!”
Solomon King’s debut 2009 CD, Under the Sun, earned him a Grammy entrant nomination. Now his new CD, Medicine, strips down today’s over-produced slush and returns music to its very essence. Medicine is an exciting throwback to when the blues and rock made you want to rock and roll!
Medicine is a tasty dish, evoking John Lee Hooker, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and a little of that “bad to the bone” of George Thorogood. It’s raw, one-take, uncomplicated medicine for the soul. Trust us, resistance is futile. . .so shut up and just take your Medicine!
Buy "under the sun" CD
Under the Sun
Reviewed by: Mick Rainsford
"Blues in Britain Magazine"
When you look down the track listing for an album and see it populated with covers – many classics of their genre – you instinctively have strong forebodings of listening to ill conceived renditions that don’t deliver anything remotely resembling the concept of “imitation being the sincerest form of flattery”.
However, occasionally you are surprised when an artist takes these songs and brings new life to them by changing them to deliver a personal musical vision that respects the song’s roots without resorting to mere mimicry. One such artist is Solomon King.
To help deliver his vision, King has surrounded himself with a crack team of musicians that includes Ray Parker Jr (guitar), Ollie Brown (drums), Reggie McBride (bass) and Sylvester Rivers (keyboards/percussion) with background vocals from Shea Chambers, Elaine Gibbs and Cristi Black. I mention the names of these singers because their gospel infused harmonies are one of the real delights of this set.
King is blessed with a soulful and bluesy voice (somewhat like a white Robert Cray) that is equally at home on the Muddy inspired title track as it is on the funkily soulful “Ain’t No Love”. “Freaky” is deeply soulful, funky and bluesy, riding a mesmerising guitar riff – “Frankie & Johnny” has a seriously funky undertone that is enhanced by jaunty piano – whilst “You Look Good” is both funky and bluesy fired by percolating organ.
Add in earthy renditions of “Whiter Shade Of Pale” and “Tracks Of My Tears”, and a seriously funky “Jack Me Up”, and you have a fine set from an artist with serious potential.