Music is about vibe at its most guttural foundation, and if the vibe is there, I can usually sense it off the bat. Josh Hyde had my ears hooked in seconds with his new release, “Into The Soul.” I immediately could feel the conditions were there. I got a frosty glass out of the freezer and poured a double IPA. It’s on. We’ve got a trophy fish on the line.
There’s a slinky, greasy, boogie-woogie piano groove from Jimmy Wallace (Joe Walsh) that would make Ian McLagen or Nicky Hopkins salute to start the whole album, with an understated but swingin’ groove — then Hyde’s lyrics come in, and he’s crooning with the best of ‘em. “Rocking Chair” is already a new-school-meet-old-school blues classic. It’s heady, and we got a Jerry Garcia Band-like head turner of an R&B space jam when the guitar solo (which is tasty) turns on a dime into a boogie-woogie piano solo. What a way to get this blues party started. These guys aren’t afraid to cut loose, but only after finding their discipline with their playing. No wasted notes here.
The production is super solid. Joe V. McMahon did a great job. The drums are very rootsy/retro-sounding. The guitar playing embodies great tone, the singing by Hyde is restrained, but contains a bit of grit and aggression at times. The whole thing feels vintage, but has a modern sensibility to it, as well.
More left turns can be found in “For You I Ache.” There’s almost a Mazzy Star-meets-Circles-Around-The-Sun (Space Wheel, specifically) psychedelic blues nature to it. I love it! Melting genres and crossing over, merging sounds and vibes where each side hears where they came from, but also respects the other styles that sonically challenge the range of influences. Hyde fools the listener at the 2:50 mark where it sounds like the song is fading out, then he hits you with an aggressive acoustic strum and minimal, but effective vocals, before the song eventually does wind down. Hyde’s a cosmic cowboy. He’s not afraid to throw some long passes downfield.
“The Edge Of Love” contains killer acoustic slide guitar, and some Hill Country blues grooves akin to North Mississippi Allstars. “Down On Bourbon Street” sounds like early Bruce Springsteen (if he was writing about New Orleans, instead of Asbury Park.) There’s an excellent breakdown guitar solo in “All You Need Is Soul,” (a must listen) to close the song.
Louis Armstrong once said: “There is two kinds of music – the good and the bad. I play the good kind.” “Into The Soul” is a winner. Really high marks for this one. Go get it. Vinyl copy, please.
— Jon Siembieda
- Josh Hyde
‘Into The Soul”
Release: April 24, 2019
Label: JHR Records