Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Matt Stansberry & The Romance - Let's Brighten It Up (2012)

Matt Stansberry & The Romance is a big, ten piece band that's a true, old time, white, rhythm and blues outfit that time traveled out of the 1950's and 60's and into the twenty-first century. They're reminiscent of the old Ray Charles lineup from way back when that featured a traditional R&B horn section with girl singers who sound a lot like The Raelettes. The leader and his sidemen are quite adept at what they do so don't be afraid to partake of Stansberry's work even though he looks more like Buddy Holly than Charles.

The Romance are devoted to their retro-soul sound in the same way other modern, blue-eyed, soul men such as Mayer Hawthorne and Britain's James Hunter have followed their muses while successfully earning cult followings in recent years. Because Stansberry will probably never get rich panning for gold in the past it's obvious that his choice of music is truly a labor of love.

The Edmond, Oklahoma band is a force to be reckoned with. Their debut EP, Let's Brighten It Up, has no modern musical touches despite the clean, up-to-date, digital sound on seven original songs that would have fit in beautifully at your old high school's record hop. The title track and "You Got It" are undeniably enthusiastic party tunes while the rest are either ballads or more traditional R & B fare.

The EP was co-produced by Stansberry and Grammy nominee Jon Schroeder.

See more on Stansberry's website where you can download the EP for free.

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