Seem everybody is doing the soul revival thing these days. And, while that's true to an extent, there's a couple of acts out there who are really doing the resurgent genre some justice -- like, say, Mayer Hawthorne of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The 32-year-old soul singer and Austin City Limits Music Festival performance vet earned quite a bit of attention with the release of his 2009 full-length debut, A Strange Arrangement. Deservedly so, too: Hawthorne isn't necessarily the world's greatest singer, but he sure is a heck of a composer and, damn, you can really feel the emotion behind his efforts.
The same is true of his new, just-released, free-to-download, six-track EP of cover songs. The release, called Impressions, finds Hawthorne and his backing band covering various songs from artists such as Electric Light Orchestra, Chromeo and The Isley Brothers.
But, from our perspective at least, one of Hawthorne's cooler selections is the disc's third track, a song called "You've Got The Makings of A Lover" from a band called The Festivals. And, according to Hawthorne, The Festivals were from right here in Dallas. After the jump, he describes the song and explains how he stumbled upon it.
"Textbook Northern soul from a little-known Dallas, Texas, group called The Festivals. I was digging for records in NY with my homey DJ Kurse, and the shopkeeper played the 45 in the store. Both of us immediately ran up to the counter and said, "Yo! What is THAT?!" The original version was recorded in the late 60s, and the mix isn't very good. I wanted a version that I could bump. Quentin Joseph played the drums and we recorded them at Sam Beaubien's studio in Detroit. That's Sam playing the trumpet as well."
Download Hawthorne's cover EP right here. And, below, check out the original version.
The Festivals -- "You've Got The Makings Of A Lover"
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.