Review: Stolen Hearts – Dirty Southern Soul

Posted on: Saturday, Oct 24, 2015


Stolen Hearts  – Dirty Southern Soul

(Independent release)

Stolen Hearts is a duo consisting of Carolina born Robert Johnson Jr. (no relation) and Pam Taylor with their own individual approach to blues and roots music (and with a large supporting cast of musicians). Both had their own music careers before joining forces, with Pam having been mentored by blues-woman Debbie Davies, and Robert very well known in the Americana field.

They bring their collective experience to bear on this richly varied and most definitely blues-based set. ‘My Johnny’ features Robert’s mandolin work heavily and is perhaps the most Americana styled number (it is about Johnny Cash), and it is followed by Robert’s ‘C’mon Baby (I Got Your Shoes)’, an attractive, catchy acoustic soul number with blues guitar.

Some of the numbers betray a subtle country touch, just an odd intonation or two – lend an ear to ‘Do You No Harm’ for example – but ‘Ain’t No Man’ is a blues-rocker more than a little reminiscent of vintage Free or Led Zeppelin, and the wonderfully titled ‘Werewolves (Make Lousy Boyfriends)’ has strong traces of Jimi Hendrix, whilst ‘All I Got Left’ is a straight slow-ish blues.

To finish off, Pam turns in a tour-de-force, almost nine minutes long, live version of Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ – one of those numbers that writers sometimes describe as “worth the price of the CD by itself”. But chances are you’ll enjoy the rest of the CD anyway. . .


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