Pushing Fire, from Soul Scratch is serious Soul music heat. It’s also ardent protest music whose time is now.
If you like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Durand Jones & The Indications, James Hunter Six, Charles Bradley, and Lee Fields…you’ll love Soul Scratch!
Listen to Pushing Fire as you read the rest of the review…
Follow this playlist to hear more of Soul Scratch’s marvelous music on Spotify.
Poignant, Powerful, Modern Soul Music
Dale Spollet, lead singer of Soul Scratch, sings soulful stories of hope, redemption, resolve, and perseverance — all traits of successful independent musicians. Soul Scratch says, “We are on a mission to cure the world of hate, and educate all people in the power of Love, Peace, and Music.” Can you dig it?!
On “Pacified,” blue-eyed Soul man extraordinaire, Spollet, sings beautifully about an ugly problem. It’s the story of how people are so easily appeased, manipulated, and lead astray. The band plays some furious Funk to bring the outrage to fever pitch.
“Look How Far We’ve Come” examines race relations without pointing fingers, all while singing about unity and showing the hopeful side of negative situations. The band plays it with plenty of wah-wah, and you’ll hear some Curtis Mayfield in there too
“The Road Looks Long” is a working man’s story. Dale Spollet sings a story about love, faith, and pushing on. You can hear the self-assurance, urgency, and belief in a better day with more love and abundance.
Next up is my favorite song on Pushing Fire — “Odessa Heat”. As good a Soul singer as Dale Spollet is, I still prefer instrumental Funk tunes. This is where the band gets to show off. These dudes are tight! Joel Givertz gets all Catfish Collins on the guitar. Johnny Chou is his Bootsy on bass. Adam Greenberg keeps the drums in the pocket throughout this record, and gets to shine here. The horn section of Matt Reale on trumpet, and Ian Anderson on sax are hot, and they know how to play it the 60s Soul way.
“It’s Not Over” boasts a real sweet organ groove, as Spollet sings a sad song. And yet, he always finds the hope, and shifts the focus to that light at the end of the tunnel in these songs.
“Kiss Me In The Morning” is a gorgeous love song. The organ and horns build the passion of this tune, and Spollet sings it so sweet and seductively.
“Be Kind” is modernized, old-school Soul music. It’s good-time music, and classic lovers’ Rock Ike Turner could have made. “Empty Cup” is more of the same, and the band funks it up a little more. These two are hot!
“Fireside Lounge” is another dope instrumental Funk song. It’s the outlier on Pushing Fire because it’s harder to pin down and categorize. The band is really spreading out on this one, and it sounds like it could come from the Brooklyn underground.
They end Pushing Fire with “Thank You.” It’s a super groovy love song of gratitude for a man’s wonderful woman who is always there for him.
Soul Scratch is rooted in the principle that through the healing power of music, the world may be made into a joyous loving place where all of humanity can come together under the umbrella of Love and togetherness. They tell stories of humanity, warts and all, always finding a reason for optimism and gratitude to keep on having a good time sharing positive, Soul music.
Soul Scratch is a hard hitting groove machine, blending the Stax and Motown sound with a modern Southern California feel. Buy Pushing Fire on vinyl, add some potent Soul music to your collection, and get yourself one of the best albums of 2017.