Bluesman singer-songwriter and musician Michael Hornbuckle has a new album out titled SoulRepo. His latest release has 11 tracks of blues, rock, and soul. Here Hornbuckle leads the way on guitar, bass, and vocals.
He is backed by an assortment of other artists including Andras Csapo (AC) on harmonica and keyboards, Alexander “Ace” Baker on keyboards, Sarah Snead on backing vocals, Desmond Washington on drums and keyboards, Brian Hornbuckle and Jeff Andrews on bass, Dave Fox on drums, and Dusty Lee on lead guitar.
The album opens on “Sweat”. Hornbuckle immediately sets the musical mood with this bluesy rocker. It’s followed by “Baby Rock” wherein Hornbuckle slows things down a bit. The cut has an almost blues and world music meld to it.
“Me & Melody” puts pop into the musical mix on this melodic contemporary blues bit. It’s got an edgy guitar and noteworthy drum riff to it too. Next here is “One Night” which sounds like a single. The song comes complete with a slice of funky groove that makes it seem like an especially good song for live gigs.
The bluesy ballad “Risin’ Sun” is one of the songs co-composed with producer Baker. The song is a nice, slow dance number highlighted by Hornbuckle’s soulful vocals and arpeggiated guitar chords. It’s followed by another collaborative effort.
“Candle For Mary”, another piece written with Baker, is a sad, somber, soulful song. An early favorite of the critics, this piano-driven piece tunefully touches upon the subject of the ravages of war. It focuses on the survivors who light “a candle for the fallen one.”
“Soul Repo (Live)” is one of the live tracks here and yet another song composed with Baker. Hornbuckle’s vocals fairly growl on this one. It’s got an easy to follow chorus and a good basic groove on which the band can really let go.
The next number is a country-tinged blues bit titled “Hit Me Up”. Here Hornbuckle sings to a lover that when she is feeling down she should hit him up. It features Lionel Young on the fiddle.
“Wishin’ Well” is another blues rocker with an old school feel to it. It is, perhaps, a bit overshadowed by “Angel”. “Angel” is an early fave of both fans and critics alike as a standalone cut. It is smooth, slower song with a memorable melody.
The closing cut is another live work named “Backseat (Live)”. It’s an easy, boogie-woogie, blues shuffle. It works as a live honky-tonk number no doubt.
The album tunefully touches upon several subjects including birth, death, love, loss and the pain of human experience. His original material contains guitar-fueled musical moments that matter to him and in many cases to everyone. Overall, the work is both honest and passionate. So check out Michael Hornbuckle’s SoulRepo and you might find that other albums simply take a “Backseat” to it.