BBC Radio Manchester's Karen Gabay on The Devonns' soulful sound...
I have to admit I’m a sucker for Chicago soul. More often than not, music from this part of the world is full-bodied and The Devonns continue that tradition, serving up retro soul music with powerful string arrangements that are just what the world needs right now.
A version of Jamie Lidell’s Green Light, their latest release, came my way recently, and it has a gentle yet humbly magnificent sound, another classy offering from Italian label Record Kicks. On a transatlantic call to the band’s founder, Mat Ajjarapu, he told me he was banned from listening to contemporary music as a child, as he grew up in a strict Christian household. Perhaps this is where his love of soul with a pumping horn sound comes from?
He immersed himself in the gospel of BeBe & CeCe Winans, and southern soul from the times of doo wop up until post-disco, and Green Light is a throwback to that era, with vibrant strings lifting up Lidell’s original. The Devonns’ desire to bring back big soul is welcome, and this is a band I would love to see when the time comes.