First Listen: The Savants of Soul shine again on "Another"

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    Photo credit: by Ian Clontz

    (January 29, 2023) One may occasionally ponder the composition of a musical group’s name.  In this case, let us examine The Savants of Soul.  Savant is defined in several ways, including those who are persons with a high level of knowledge or skill.  Well, this Gainesville, Florida soul ensemble lives up to this definition through its fascinating live shows. The Savants of Soul’s savvy for crafting original songs from poignant messages (“Son Be Strong” – reviewed as a SoulTracks World Premiere) to the battle of the mind (“Darkness”) is backed with raw passion and tight grooves of 60’s and 70’s southern soul, served with pinches of blues, funk, and ska.  

    (January 29, 2023) One may occasionally ponder the composition of a musical group’s name.  In this case, let us examine The Savants of Soul.  Savant is defined in several ways, including those who are persons with a high level of knowledge or skill.  Well, this Gainesville, Florida soul ensemble lives up to this definition through its fascinating live shows. The Savants of Soul’s savvy for crafting original songs from poignant messages (“Son Be Strong” – reviewed as a SoulTracks World Premiere) to the battle of the mind (“Darkness”) is backed with raw passion and tight grooves of 60’s and 70’s southern soul, served with pinches of blues, funk, and ska.  

    In the past few years, in addition submitting for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and blazing the stage at South By Southwest (SXSW), The Savants of Soul recorded their 2nd album at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Since that 2020 self-titled release, the nine-piece band is working on material and arrangements for its upcoming 2023 album.

    Now, First Listen brings back The Savants of Soul spotlighting their latest single, “For Another.”  Co-lead vocalist/trumpeter Mandy Ferwerda steps to the microphone on this tale of being jilted, while trying to sort out her feelings and move forward. A quiet soulful piano intro leads into a crisp foundation of brass and rhythm section providing the frosting for Ferwerda’s blues-drenched voice.  While the storyline may reflect justified frustration (“I’m not his girl anymore”), The Savants of Soul render their stories with confidence and authenticity. A true testament to southern soul from Gainesville to Muscle Shoals and beyond.  Enjoy “For Another.”

    By Peggy Oliver

    The Savants of Soul - "For Another"

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