Colonel Red's new album 'Keep Walkin' resonates with the rich influences and experiences of his heritage, yet still speaks with honest humility of familiar themes of faith, hope and love, that captures the essence of the contradictions and challenges that come our way, making the most of our lives, living our dreams and finding love in a society under pressure.
After numerous coops with funk and soul legends such as Earth Wind & Fire, Teddy Pendergrass, Anita Baker, Lenny White, Tony Allen and The Last Poets, Colonel Red decided to make a departure from the electronic studio sounds of his earlier productions and turn back to his musical roots. The deeply rhythmical hooks of 'Keep Walkin' take you on a soulsongal adventure through jazz, soul, funk and fusion.
The rich tapestry of themes embrace self empowerment in the voodoesque soul of 'Rain of Fall' with its ghostly piano. Other tracks like 'I Will Be There' take a sweet mournful road through the land of relationships. The backing music is organic with horn lines working subtle trade offs against guitar and keyboard melodies that provide an intimate atmosphere for the whole album. Colonel Red's voice carries the songs the way an eagle twists in the sky, at times whispering, floating and at other moments soaring high viewing the landscape below. Spoken word artist Ursula Rucker is the special guest on this album, shooting straight from the heart as familiar to listeners of The Roots and 4Hero. Altogether the compositional vision, sound and science of 'Keep Walkin' defines the past, present, and future of Colonel Red. A strong album that cannot be missing in any decent soul collection!
Paul Martin (Talkin Loud Records)
Gilles Peterson (BBC)