Welcome to another installment of The Baker’s Dozen, a feature in which I will deliver a playlist of some of the things I’ve been listening to lately and tell you why.
I’ve been listening to Charles Bradley quite a bit lately because I love songs that sound like they were made in Muscle Shoals or Detroit back in the 1960s, or sound like they wish they were.
With that in mind, I present to you the latest edition of The Baker’s Dozen, hot and fresh out the kitchen:
1. Charles Bradley (feat. Menahan Street Band) – “You Put The Flame On It”
Because of the funky bass line, the silky horns, the smooth female backup vocals, and the inimitable blend of Otis Redding and James Brown in Bradley’s voice.
2. Justin Timberlake – “That Girl”
Because I’ve been shouting Timberlake’s praises from the mountaintops for years and this seemed like a good enough excuse to get him onto another playlist. Just be happy I don’t put him on every single week. And this is the best fusion of vintage sounds and modern production sensibilities on the whole list.
3. Vintage Trouble – “Nobody Told Me”
Because I love guitars that sound just as vulnerable as the cracks in the lead singer’s voice. I saw these guys open up for The Who and totally win over a crowd of 60-year-old stoners who couldn’t even remember how they got there.
4. JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound – “I Got High”
Because this sounds exactly like a song from Motown circa 1966, except for the lyrical content about smoking weed. And listen to those keys!
5. Raphael Saadiq – “Go To Hell”
Because Raphael Saadiq is the greatest at what he does and this song builds and builds and builds until you reach a point of pure ecstasy about two and a half minutes in. “Let love bring us together!”
6. Lee Fields & The Expressions – “Faithful Man”
Because songs about infidelity are the best kinds of secular soul music. Preach, Lee!
7. Cody ChesnuTT – “Til I Met Thee”
Because sometimes your soul needs a little funk guitar to get you outta your seat.
8. Allen Stone – “Celebrate Tonight”
Because who knew a long-haired hippie could sing falsetto like that? He looks like he works at a coffeehouse in Williamsburg. It just goes to show that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
9. Alabama Shakes – “Hang Loose”
Because Alabama Shakes make old sounds seem fresh and new better than anybody else out there right now.
10. Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings – “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?”
Because Sharon Jones had to exist before we could even fathom somebody like Brittany Howard coming along. And for that, we thank you.
11. Cee Lo Green – “Satisfied”
Because Cee Lo might seem like a big joke when he’s petting that stupid kitten on The Voice, but the dude knows how to craft a great soul pop song. And because Cee Lo Green is the soul machine.
12. Ray LaMontagne – “You Are The Best Thing”
Because even though this is the only song LaMontagne has that even comes close to sounding like R&B, he has the voice for it and absolutely knocks it out if the park on this one.
13. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – “Bitch, I Love You”
Because I couldn’t resist ending with a slow blues romp called “Bitch, I Love You” featuring a Hammond b3 organ and canned horns. Dirty.
Until next time, keep it hot and fresh.