Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, “Over The City” from Living By The Minute (2015): Something Else! exclusive stream

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Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers don’t serve up neo-soul, hip-hop soul or some other updated notion of soul music. This is the straight-up undiluted stuff.

Nebraska-bred Hoyer has been everywhere and probably played just about everything, but these days he applies his skills heading up the Shadowboxers, a potent soul outift replete with a horn section and lady background singers. Hoyer himself writes and arranges the tunes, players keys and even lends a bari sax to horn line. At the center of all these choice ingredients Hoyer’s classic soul throat,

Hoyer and his Shadowboxers, around only since 2012, made a debut album that got raves and are ready to do it again. Living By The Minute, coming out January 13, 2015 from Silver Street Records, is powerful soul statement, combining the sheer power of Otis Redding, the funk of James Brown and the social immediacy of Puzzle People-era Temptations.

“Over The City,” the third track of Living, gets the tune going with a dark-hued intro, but his organ, Rhodes and timely horn statements bring real depth and never lets this song drag down. Hoyer sings about “looking out at the world on a rooftop, over the city,” the perspective of people left behind by society he gained from his work with the CenterPointe homeless outreach program in Lincoln, Nebraska. To go along with these serious-minded lyrics are chord changes and arrangements you don’t find in soul music anymore, much less any kind of music outside of jazz (Hoyer became an adherent to the music Miles and Coltrane early in life).

Hoyer himself summed up his approach to this and his other songs this way when told Hear Nebraska : “I write about what I think about and see in the world; not all of that is happy,” he laughs. “But the groove is.”

Check here for an upcoming Josh Hoyer and Shadowboxer show in your locale.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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