Curtis Harding
Soul Power
Burger Records
Street: 04.22
Curtis Harding = Inspiration Information–era Shuggie Otis – inspiration
If I were a betting man, I’d wager everything I’ve got that Allen Toussaint’s Southern Nights is Curtis Harding’s favorite record. It’s a good favorite to have, too. (This review prompted me to spend the weekend listening to it). Problem is, Harding works so hard trying to replicate the music of his heroes on Soul Power that the fog of their legacy makes it difficult to see any of Harding’s personality shining through. Even so, this is a pretty darn enjoyable set of rock-influenced soul. None of the songs here offend my music-snob sensibilities in any way. That’s no small feat, either. Unfortunately, these pleasant tunes never transcend beyond competent mediocrity. I do, however, thank Harding from the bottom of my heart for the much-needed reminder to revisit not just Toussaint, but Terry Collier’s What Color is Love, as well.   –Dan Vesper