Jeff Plankenhorn: Soulslide Review

Beginning with “Lose My Mind,” Soulslide, the latest effort from singer-songwriter Jeff Plankenhorn opens with a resonant twang and distorted vocals that transition to a steady, light swing rhythm. “You Got Me Hummin’” enlists Malford Milligan, a powerful vocalist who rose to fame as a house-bringer-downer on The Voice in order to paint a picture of a honeymoon romance when everything is sex and butterflies.

“Trouble Find Me” marks a slower pace and includes a trilling organ, while Plankenhorn eases into a pleading falsetto, singing the ballad of a forsaken self. “Like Flowers” is the second vocal collaboration on Soulslide. Featuring the high, assertive belt of sometimes Warren Haynes collaborator Ruthie Foster, the track establishes a smooth, yet jagged dichotomy of vocal textures. The warped, funky guitar of “Dirty Floor” set the stage for “Kansas City Nocturne” to gently upturn the tables with deep piano and gentle slide guitar, a sparkling bit of percussion and strings.

After the pleasant interlude, “Born to Win” ratchets up the pace and breaks the reverie with a hard, edged wah-wah tinged guitar and “Vagabond Moonlight,” the awesomely named Western ballad performed with The Resentments, tones the record down with a picture of open skies, purple sunsets, flat mesas, and new destinations. “Mockingbird Blues” is a gentle, acoustic track that serenades the listener for five easy minutes before “Headstrong” slides into the picture with a hollow bend of the strings. Plankenhorn infuses his phrases with a lilting falsetto as he tells the story of two lovers who repeatedly use one another in a never-ending battle against loneliness and a futile quest for fulfillment.

“Live Today” grants The Resentments their curtain call and makes allusion to Lord Byron’s classic poem of dark enchantment, “She Walks in Beauty” before “Walking in the Sun” watches the sun fade on Soulslide with a pensive, hopeful look at the coming light, the warmth already glowing on the singer’s skin. A record of significant skill, gliding melodies, and inventive joint efforts from some of the genre’s best talents, Soulslide is a must-have for fans of the new generation of blues rock.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– You Got Me Hummin’
– Trouble Find Me
– Like Flowers
– Kansas City Nocturne
– Vagabond Moonlight

 The Big Hit

– You Got Me Hummin’

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

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