August 10, 2021 by Nigel
Love & Truth is the second album from Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers, the alter-ego of Alan Evans.
Alan certainly has a sense of humour. Bored with albums being released without much fanfare or story behind the artists or music. The first Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers album was released in 2011 along with a fabricated story.
It went along the lines of this. In 1974 a band called Crushed Velvet and the Velveteers recorded the soundtrack to a blaxploitation style film called The Big One. It was said that unfortunately the film never made it to the big screen, as the movie was lost in a fire soon after completion. Alan had somehow discovered the original soundtrack and brought it back to life. It’s now known this was a fabrication and that Crushed Velvet and the Velveteers is just simply the alter-ego of Alan Evans.
A stroke of marketing genius or just a bit of fun!
Probably most well known as the band leader and drummer of American band Soulive, Alan has been working the contemporary funk and soul scene for sometime now. On Love & Truth Alan plays guitar, bass and drums with guests Darby Wolf & Neal Evans on keys and the horn section from the BT ALC Big Band.
Vocals are provided courtesy of a lineup of amazing singers. Kim Dawson (Pimps of Joytime / Matador Soul Sounds), Saundra Williams (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings / Saun & Starr), Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Yanick (After Funk) and Brother GoodLove (Aztec Sun).
Love & Truth kicks off with the upbeat soul of ‘Really Can’t Get Over You‘ featuring Yanick on vocals. Yanick is a new name to us. His soulful voice is a combination of neosoul meets the rawness of heart wrenching classic soul. Think Omar meets Otis.
Next up we are treated to two songs with the voice of Kim Dawson. You Are My Home is a sultry jazz number the oozes sex appeal. Next we are treated to Good Thang a sister soul number. With a James Brown-eque production and more than a hint of Vicki Anderson and Martha High. This is a funk masterpiece that is sure to set dancefloors alight!
Fans of Sharon Jones will no doubt be aware of duo Saun and Starr who were her backing singers. On Every Second of the Day one half of the duo, Saundra Williams sings on what is one of the most beautiful tracks we have heard in a long time.
Vocals are provided by Brother GoodLove on the next two tracks. First is As Far As We Know a groovy head nodding soul number. This is followed with We Are Not Ok, an uptempo soul funk groover.
On Say Their Names Be The Change Lyle Divinsky brings a gritty soul vibe to the track. With an extremely catchy hook and chorus this is surely a contender to be released as a single. We can see this being a big favourite played live with the audience singing along.
The album is rounded off with Kim Dawson back on vocal duties for Keep On Fightin. Another hard hitting funk track that goes straight for the jugular.
Love and Truth by Crushed Velvet and The Velveteers combines Jazz, Soul and Funk. It’s no surprise when you learn that the man behind this project is Alan Evans. It feels like on this album he really brings together everything his experiences have taught him. Every track is a winner. An album that will stand the test of time, even though it was written and recorded in 2021 not the 1970’s!