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October/November 2009

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Darrell Nulisch
Just For You
Severn Records

Darrell Nulisch

On Darrell Nulisch’s latest release, Just for You (Severn Records), the focus is on soul and R&B. Produced by Nulisch, along with Severn stalwarts David Earl and Steve Gomes (who also plays bass), the disc features all the prerequisites for a great soul/R&B album, a muscular eight-piece horn section (arranged by the legendary Willie Henderson), backup singers (Carla Chisholm, Meg Murray, and guest Lou Pride), those great churchy keyboards right out of Hi Records (compliments of Benjie Porecki) and a tasty mix of originals and well-chosen covers.

The x-factor, of course, is Nulisch, who has never sounded better. Joining him are Fabulous T-Bird Johnny Moeller on guitar, Robb Stupka on drums, and Victor Williams on percussion. They provide excellent support on the set, which features six tracks co-written by Nulisch and Gomes.

The highlights are plentiful, but the cream of the crop from the originals includes “All The Love We Had,” which has a mid ’70s feel with Moeller’s guitar work and those sweet horns. “You Don’t Know Me,” the bold Stax-esque album opener, “Far Too Lonely,” which has a bouncy Sam Cooke groove, and “Let a Woman Be a Woman,” an organ-fueled soul gem that would have been a smooth fit during the Motown era.

Of the four cover tunes, the standout is Nulisch’s take on the Otis Clay favorite, “The Woman Don’t Live Here No More,” but he also does a fine job on the title track, originally recorded by Slim Harpo, and J. J. Malone’s “It’s a Shame.” Nulisch’s reworking of fellow Severn artist Pride’s ’70s hit, “Work for Love,” is marvelous.

Just for You features a masterful performance from Nulisch. His strong, intimate vocals and the superb music and production make this disc a must-have for soul and R&B fans.

--- Graham Clarke


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