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The Rock and Roll Report Focus is on Winslow

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There are several ways of dealing with your past: You can run from it, deny it, accept it and move on, or you can learn from it and let it help shape your future. That is just what Kent, OH band Winslow has done with the time the band spent as a cover band that played soul music. It was this time that helped shape the band’s ability to write original soul music.

The band consists of Maurice Martin on vocals, Matt Tieman on saxophone, Curtis Tate on keys, Neal Campbell on guitar, Brian Robertson on bass, and Justin Hofmann on drums. It is this band that has just released their first full-length album entitled “Crazy Kind of Love”. “Crazy Kind of Love” is one of the rare recordings that you don’t find anymore: a new soul album.

While you can find many fine vintage albums from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, and many other artists that have already made their mark on the music industry, you rarely hear of new artists taking their shot at trying to create the next new sound in the soul genre. Winslow has not only decided to try to make the next generation soul album, they have succeeded.

To say that Winslow’s style is old school soul would be wrong: the band has not gone the way of the past, they have taken the soul genre and combined it with rock and funk to create a new and exciting twist on the old genre. The band’s new album, “Crazy Kind of Love,” features 10 songs of great writing and playing by a band that has taken its time to learn to create something new, something different that will have people talking once the band gets some well-deserved publicity for their album that does more than just help revitalize the soul genre, it kicks it to the next level.

While the album as a whole is a great listening experience, some of the stand out tracks include: “Breakdown,” “Move On,” “Tango Between the Lines,” and the album’s title track, “Crazy Kind of Love”.

Crazy Kind of Love from Winslow begins with the track “Breakdown”. Right from the start, the energy of the music hits and hits hard. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Soul vibe flowing through the entire track, you would swear that this was a straight-out Rock and Roll track. The strong guitars from Neal Campbell, hard-hitting bass from Brian Robertson and energetic drums on the track add to that Rock and Roll vibe. The Rock/Soul mixture on this track gives the song a slightly dated feel as the song feels as if it would be right at home within a setlist from the likes of seventies legends Earth, Wind & Fire.

With the song “Move On,” singer Maurice Martin’s vocals take the spotlight. His vocals delivery comes with an energy level similar to that of James Brown, while sounding more like Marvin Gaye. That soulful delivery is matched up with music that falls more into the Soul category than the previous track’s sound did. That soulful feel to the music is blended with a slightly orchestral feel that comes from the inclusion of strings on the track. And just like the track “Breakdown” before it, “Move On” there is a slightly dated feel to the music. However, as that feel places the music within the same era when Soul music was at its strongest, that is not such a bad thing.

Another track that stands out on the Crazy Kind of Love release from Winslow is the release’s title track. “Crazy Kind of Love” contains a musical mixture that blends together Soul with plenty of Jazz influence. The result is a track that would be as much at home on a Smooth Jazz radio format as it would be on a Soul and R&B format. This is the kind of track that truly brings out the talent of the entire musical ensemble that is known as Winslow.

The song “Tango Between the Lines” is easily within the best tracks on the Crazy Kind of Love album. The track begins with the sound of the bass as it creates a strong groove. That groove is expanded with a Soul/Jazz blend with the inclusion of the saxophone. Eventually, the addition of the electric guitar in the mix helps to give the song a bit of a Rock and Roll influence. What results is a fresh, smooth track that has plenty of energy. “Tango Between the Lines” is easily the hardest rockin’ track on the release. It’s also the best song on the album.

Immediately after “Tango Between the Lines,” the saxophone and piano continue the feel of the music but in a much more relaxed mood. That musical direction segues into the track “Into Tomorrow”. The easier, more laidback song features a strong R&B feel. The track continues with the R&B direction until the saxophone joins in. This creates a R&B/Jazz track that shows off the talent of singer Maurice Martin.

If you are a fan of soul music, Crazy Kind of Love from Winslow is one album you must check out. Singer Maurice Martin and the rest of Winslow have produced a release that is different enough from previous Soul albums that this album is definitely a must for your music collection. The time you spend listening to the album will be well worth it.

If you are a fan of soul music, this is one album you must check out. The time spent listening to the album will be well worth it.
To check out Winslow and their music, go to www.winslowsoul.com. Also visit their MySpace account at www.myspace.com/winslowsoul. Also, go to the website for the band’s label, FTF Records at www.ftfrecords.com.

Matheson Kamin

WINSLOW: Crazy Kind of Love
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