Roadhouse Album Review: William Bell’s smooth and sexy soul music defines this classic singer’s “One Day Closer to Home”

William Bell — “One Day Closer to Home” — Wilbe Records

William Bell is one of the original soul men. One of the last standing. Still creating that sweetly satisfying soul music — and more.

On his latest and 15th album, Bell turns loose his still-smooth 83-year-old pipes on a dozen finely crafted and perfectly executed songs that stretch the boundaries of soul music into a broader picture of American music.

Those varied skills are why, in 2017, Bell was awarded a Grammy for Best Americana Album for “This Is Where I Live.” He performed on the show as well, offering a reprise of his “Born Under a Bad Sign” (yes, I know it’s usually associated with Albert King, but Bell created it).

“One Day Closer to Home” offers a touch of all his creative powers. There are funky moments, R&B flavors, soulful interludes and even a little countrified honk.

“I Still Go To Parties” is the opener, slyly letting you know he’s still ready with a touch of funkiness, even if a bit subdued. “I Will Remember Tonight” is sweetly sexy and soulful, but with a lyrical fiddle echoing his vocals.

The magical soul continues through “In A Moment Of Weakness,” “Brag About You,” “Human Touch,” and “I’ve Got Feet,” all driving with echoes of the Stax/Volt sound, where Bell was a major contributor in the 1960s. “Let’s Make Loving Great Again” is simply a beautiful sentiment, gorgeously expressed. And that pretty much describes all the great tracks I haven’t even mentioned.

The closer, “Georgia Peach,” picks up the tempo, adds a touch of Otis Redding toughness, and leaves you wanting more of everything. So, play it again, and then dig deep into Bell’s recordings. Soul music doesn’t get much sweeter.

Learn more about William Bell and his vast musical experience at his web site bio.

Here’s “Let’s Make Loving Great Again”:


01 – I Still Go To Parties
02 – I Will Remember Tonight
03 – In A Moment Of Weakness
04 – Brag About You
05 – Human Touch
06 – I’ve Got Feet
07 – Let’s Make Loving Great Again
08 – We Can Never Go Back
09 – One Day Closer To Home
10 – When I Stop Loving You
11 – Ain’t Gon’ Let It Bother Me
12 – Georgia Peach

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