• Bryon Harris

The Happy Curmudgeons - 'Soulsville'

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

The Happy Curmudgeons started playing together in 2015. The group was assembled by Dave Hamilton who wrote or co-wrote the 11 tracks on their first album, Meant 2 Be. The band is currently working on its second album with producer, Mark Byerly. They released the album's title track, "2nd Chances" as a single in 2019.

“Soulsville” is an energetic, guitar riff driven song by the Happy Curmudgeons. The song begins with a signature electric guitar riff that drives the song. The guitar is then joined by the bass, which doubles the riff, and 2 acoustic guitars, one playing counter melodies to the riff, and one playing rhythm. It's a great groove to build on and The Happy Curmudgeons do it mastefully.

Building on the groove, the hi hat comes in, accentuating the riff, before the full drums come in along with the vocals on the first chorus. After a couple choruses, blazing sax and fiery guitar solos break up the song’s arrangement, and show off the band’s diverse instrumental prowess. Following the impressive solos, the natural vocals re-enter and the song finishes off with one last chorus.

The lyrics to “Soulsville” were inspired by a trip to Chicago by vocalist and guitarist Dave Hamilton, and his writing partner Stu Cameron. The song is inspired particularly by their visit to Chess Records, the iconic record label that was responsible for many blues and R&B hits in the 1950's and 1960's. When listeners listen to the song, they will get a taste of the character of Chicago through lyrics such as “Downtown is the place, into the race” and “If it starts to rain, you can take the ‘L.’”

“Soulsville” by the Happy Curmudgeons is a fantastic song featuring a top notch performance. Through their high level of musicianship, the band is able to perform with so much energy and intensity, all while maintaining accuracy in their playing. Listeners should be prepared to be amazed by this band’s playing and singing.

For more information on The Happy Curmudgeons, please visit their website.


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