Let’s get straight to the point, eh? Or to two points, to be more accurate. To wit:
1. At their best, Southern Avenue evoke classic Memphis soul à la the heyday of Don Bryant and Ann Peebles, for example, but in a modern style of their own.
2. They’re a damn fine, tight ensemble, the whole exceeding the sum of their parts. But their trump card is lead singer Tierinii Jackson. Seriously, we’re talking about a Superbowl standard vocalist who can go from gossamer light to stratospheric power while maintaining the purest of tones.
|Smile along with Southern Avenue|
All of which is evident on the title track of Be The Love You Want, which opens with some rattling percussion triggering staccato guitar chords, before slipping into a more comfortable groove propelled by rubbery bass and bright horns. Meantime Tierinii Jackson starts warming up her tonsils, and right off the bat they’re delivering something special, topped off a fizzing guitar break from Ori Naftaly.
Be The Love You Want is out now, on Renew Records/BMG.