No Depression reviews AJ Croce's latest album, Just Like Medicine

Soul Music is the Best Medicine (No Depression)

 

The best prescription any doctor could write would require 30 days of daily doses of soul music (as the Young Rascals knew so well when they gave us “Good Lovin’ ”). The last couple of years have been great ones for soul music, with the returns of Stax’s William Bell (This is Where I Live) and Hi Records’ Don Bryant (Don’t Give Up on Love) as well as the debut of one of the most dynamic and mesmerizing new groups on the scene, Southern Avenue (Southern Avenue). Soul music streams out of Memphis and Stax, and in Muscle Shoals veteran musicians and songwriters such as Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Donnie Fritts, David Hood, and Steve Cropper, to mention only a few, have brought the Shoals back to life.

On his new album, Just Like Medicine, A.J. Croce writes a stimulating, energizing prescription of his own for some of that sweet soul music. He’s backed on this album by some of the Shoals’ very best, including Dan Penn on background vocals on the New Orleans-style barrelhouse tune “Full Up,” David Hood on bass, Colin Linden on guitars, Bryan Owings on drums, and Steve Cropper on the Penn co-write “The Other Side of Love.” Vince Gill lends his crisp licks to the title track, Jeff Taylor shimmers on his accordion on “Move On,” while the McCrary Sisters turn in some heavenly background vocals on about half the songs and the Muscle Shoals Horns lay the foundation for some soulful strutting and dancing.

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Henry Carrigan

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