Brian Scartocci is a music artist from Austin in Texas who is looking for a soul revival in the Texas area and across the world. Austin is a town known more for blues rock, but Soul Shakedown – Brian’s love-letter to soul music of the mid-20th century is challenging the Texas ideals of great music. I think it meets the challenge very well.
Who is Brian Scartocci?
I will let Brian introduce himself and his new project to you in his own words…
After years of hard work – and making it through the pandemic – I’m finally releasing my first 12 song LP as a singles artist. My album, and my career essentially, is a love-letter to the iconic, mid-century soul music that filled my life with purpose and gave me a path to follow for as long as my memory goes. I’ve been making music in Austin, TX since 2007 when I moved here to be a father at 20 years old. Always an outlier in a city known mostly for blues rock, I have survived and finally thrived in the live scene. Now I want to try my luck against the world with this recorded music – a representation of my first years as a singles artist. I am incredibly proud of my band, my producer and this work .Brian Scartocci – December, 2022
Therefore, it is an honour and a privilege that Brian has chosen Krannaken.com as a vehicle to share his music with the world.
Soul Shakedown by Brian Scartocci
Here we will take a look at each individual song that Brian Scartocci has recorded for this album…
Days of Glory
The first artists who came into my mind when listening to Days of Glory were Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder. This is probably because I am not old enough to remember soul at it’s height in the mid-70s. The first songs I remember from this scene were Lionel Richie’s All Night Long and Stevie Wonder’s Hello.
Days of Glory is a very enjoyable song which typifies the 70s soul music scene. I believe there are also elements of gospel. Days of Glory isn’t a Christian song. I believe it is glorifying soul music from the 70s.
Please support Brian Scartocci by ordering Days of Glory from Amazon here.
From the outset, Just Peachy reminds me of The Drifters’ Under the Broadwalk. It uses a similar rhythm with good use of strings. I also appreciate the bass guitar and the clever vocals that accompany it.
Just Peachy would be a great live experience too. You can picture the electric atmosphere that this song would induce on a big crowd.
Please support Brian Scartocci by ordering Just Peachy from Amazon here.
Sweet Funky Nonsense
There are two things that I think of immediately when listening to Sweet Funky Nonsense. This includes the crackle of vinyl records and those gospel sounds.
The crackle really takes you back to when records would crackle with the needle. Those days are coming back and artists like Brian Scartocci are ensuring that vinyl is coming back into the mainstream.
The acoustic-gospel swing of the song is very appealing too. You can picture this one being performed in a big Church building.
Please support Brian Scartocci by ordering Sweet Funky Nonsense from Amazon here.
I love the opening to Darlin. The guitar is melodic and the reverb gives the sense that this song is being performed live. Again, the swing in Darlin gives a happy, relaxed sense to this song.
The guitar work in Darlin is the best guitar work so far on this album. It provides more of a blues feel. Perhaps that is the effect that Austin’s blues rock influence has on Brian.
Please support Brian Scartocci by ordering Darlin from Amazon here.
The biggest torment that the readers of this post won’t get is the embed from Spotify so that you can listen to Torment Me. Brian Scartocci really excels in the writing of this song. Again, as in Darlin, the guitar is excellent. However in Torment Me it has more of a Shadows feel. It reminds me of Apache with its wild west, Indian drums feel.
I love the transition at around one minute and 50 seconds to the happier vibe. Although you couldn’t describe the western sound as unhappy or negative, there is a much happier vibe to it in two spaces in this song. This happens at one minute and 50 seconds, but also at the end of the song.
In Lady Mercy , Brian Scartocci opens with a happy guitar melody that has been treated with some chorus and maybe a wah wah pedal too. As with much of the album, it is a very funky song. However, that is typical with much of the soul music scene.
The relationship between the wah wah of the guitar and the wurlitzer-type keys is an interesting development. That is specifically noticeable in certain aspects of the song.
Damn Hammer has that reggae feel as well as its soul values. It is a very happy and upbeat song that needs to be added to your playlist. I always talk about the importance of having a happy playlist. This is one that you need to add to it. If you have a bad day, this song will bring you up. It has an air of humour as well as an air of happiness and that smile-inducing vibe. I would virtually guarantee that this song will put a smile on your face whatever your situation is.
Trust in Love
Trust in love is an important message from Brian Scartocci for those who feel lost in love or even lost to love. It is Brian’s message for you and it also is a message of wisdom. Brian is in love with soul music. Furthermore, you can see Brian’s love for soul from Trust in Love.
Trust in Love is another happy song too. It follows the general vibe of the album. It is important to be happy and Brian delivers happiness here in spades. Thank you Brian for making the world a brighter place for your audience. Then again, you could say, Thank you soul music for the very same reason.
Slow Your Roll
Slow Your Roll is much more involved. From the outset, you can tell there are more than just a few instruments. One could go as far as to describe it as epic. The sound that Brian Scartocci creates is also bigger and wider. It would be amazing to see live in concert.
Again, it is happier. It is also more relaxed and laid-back. Being an epic track as well as having a relaxed and laid-back feel is more of an oxymoron. However, the two disciplines are included here with real effect.
It’s Raining by Brian Scartocci
From the outset, I love the swing and the initial raindrop element that is apparent in the very first sound.
The sound of It’s Raining reminds me of Elvis Presley and his style in a way that I haven’t heard for a long time. If you were an Elvis fan, you just have to listen to this song because I think you would really appreciate it.
No Kind of Pitiful
No Kind of Pitiful is exemplary of 1950s and 1960s soul and also includes reggae overtones.
It also carries a very important message about why we shouldn’t be depressed. We shouldn’t feel bad about our own situation whatever that may be. In that respect, it is another upbeat song that will help you feel better.
Do you like funky drums? Do you know what a funky drum beat sounds like? 90 Degrees opens with a really funky drum beat. Therefore, It is a great way to finish a great album.
When you listen to 90 Degrees, you can also hear the cool African American style that is present throughout the album.
Conclusion to This Amazing Work by Brian Scartocci
Brian Scartocci delivers a real feel-good vibe that encompasses more than just the soul that is its foundation. In this album, you can hear reggae, gospel, soul and also even some jazz. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Brian for allowing me to review this album for him.