Curtis Salgado

Soul Activated


This veteran of Roomful of Blues, who got his start with Robert Gray in the ’70s, mixes four originals with classic blues-soul tunes like Leon Russell’s “I’d Rather Be Blind” and Delmark Goldfarb’s “Portable Man” on this, his fourth solo release. Jimmy Cliff’s reggae classic “The Harder They Come” becomes a soul anthem, with the Memphis Horns and terrific backup vocals from Erika Warren, Margaret Linn and Sean Hommes. Salgado saves his purest vocals for his own tunes. “Summertime Life” and “I Sleep With My TV On” demonstrate he’s a good tunesmith and can create potent images. The former smoothly evokes that glowing time of the year with the best arrangement here. He plays a mean harp on the instrumental “Lip Whippin’ ” and Lloyd Jones shines with some meaty lead guitar. This is an inspiring throwback to the days of Sam and Dave and the great bar bands who could sweat it up.