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Just for You

Darrell Nulisch

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Album Review

Singer/harpist Darrell Nulisch returns to the soul-blues he's best known for after 2007's more bluesy Goin Back to Dallas. His fifth release for the Severn imprint is a typically tasty set given a comfy, homey feel likely due to Nulisch once again working with longtime veteran sidemen such as guitarist Johnny Moeller, bassist Steve Gomes, and drummer Rob Stupka. Like Robert Cray, Nulisch is generally incorrectly pigeonholed as a blues singer when really he's a soul man more in line with '60s R&B greats like O.V. Wright, Otis Clay, and James Carr. These ten smooth, low-wattage yet passionate songs don't quite hit the 40-minute mark, but add up to an album most fans of the genre will likely return to often. Four obscure yet perfectly selected covers share space with six Nulisch/Gomes originals, and it says a lot that these new songs are every bit as authentic feeling as the versions of the tunes from Lou Pride, Slim Harpo, and others. Most of the material falls into the ballad category with a few easy shuffles increasing the tempo, but generally Nulisch, who also co-produces, keeps the mood in a more muted, occasionally swampy R&B vibe. Comparisons to the Stax and Brunswick labels will be easy for fans of the genre to spot, but the whiskey-and-honey voice of Nulisch also shifts into a jazz/gospel groove for "Let a Woman Be a Woman," propelled by tambourine and Benjie Porecki's churchy organ. Brass, courtesy of no less than eight horn players with arrangements by the great Willie Henderson, keeps the sound rooted in the classic soul that Nulisch doesn't update as much as polishes off. He's not breaking any new ground on Just for You, but he's nailed a groove that keeps paying dividends, especially when the material and performances are as passionate, tasteful, and beautifully crafted as they are here. That makes this another keeper in Darrell Nulisch's impressive catalog.

Biography

Born: 14 September 1952 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Darrell Nulisch was born in Dallas, TX, in 1952. He grew up on soul singers like Otis Redding and Al Green, inspiring him to take up a similar path and work on his voice. He was a founding member of Anson Funderburgh's Rockets and sang with that group in the '80s, when he also did time in groups like Ronnie Earl's Broadcasters. He eventually left Texas and started a solo career in 1991, relocating to Boston and releasing albums that showcased his incredible blues-harmonica skills and his passionate...
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Just for You, Darrell Nulisch
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