Written by Brett Riley
Quinn DeVeaux & the Blue Beat Revue’s latest album, Book of Soul, is an R&B séance, channeling the spirits of the old legends who came before him. DeVeaux tears through tracks delivering memorable hooks and deep tight grooves, evoking the styles of everyone from Al Green and Sam Cooke; to Allen Toussaint and Bill Withers.
But the Nashville-native is not just delivering a mere imitation. Over the 12 tracks, DeVeaux and his band pay tribute to those who came before; but with a slick, full-sounding, modern production.
The steady rhythmic driving of opening tracks “Been Too Long” and the raucous “All I Need” sets the tone of a present-day, bluesy rock album. “Come On Home” slows it down a bit to deliver a beautifully laid-back message of togetherness before picking the party back up for its mirrored opposite “Take Me Home.” That optimistic message seems to center the album.
Time and again, Book of Soul welcomes you with open arms. DeVeaux is there for you, whether it’s asking you to stay, being glad that you did, inviting you to come back, or just letting you know there will always be a place if you need it. He wants everyone to have a good time and is determined to keep you loving and dancing to do it.
Even the liner notes have a witty vibe to them, proudly stating “We made this record in 3 sunny days in Nashville and 2 cloudy days in Oakland.” The blending of old influences and modern styles creates the feeling of a cohesive, lovingly-composed mixtape into DeVeaux‘s heart, lining up soul, dirty blues, classic rock and roll, and even gospel, as on the ethereal “Take Me To Glory.” It is a quiet and contemplative moment, before picking the party back up with a trip straight to New Orleans on the upbeat standout “Good Times Roll.”
It is an album that is positive, uplifting, and just straight-up fun, filled with big soulful hooks that will stick with you long after the final notes of the longing, bluesy “Stay the Night” ring out. And while Book of Soul does not rewrite the book itself, it feels like a brand-new copy of an old favorite you will revisit time and again.
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