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Blues - Released June 19, 2020 | Fat Possum

Fifty years ago, Don Bryant traded soul singing for finding his soul mate. A successful church singer and solo act in the mid-60s, Bryant's switch to a songwriting partnership with singer Ann Peeples at Hi Records produced not only hits like "I Can't Stand the Rain," but also a love match with Peeples that endures to this day. In 2017 bassist/producer Scott Bomar, leader of the Memphis neo-soul revivalist group, The Bo-Keys which includes former members of the Hi Records studio band, convinced Bryant to sing again. The result Don't Give Up on Love, both mined Bryant's classic Memphis soul history and relaunched his career. The pair are back with another equally old school soul session, You Make Me Feel, which again showcases not only Bryant's songwriting—both old and new—but also his remarkably well-preserved voice which sounds infinitely younger than his 78 years. Content to revive the classic Memphis soul sound without any hip hop or electronic updates, Bryant pays tribute to his wife (who retired from performing after a stroke in 2012) with a rip-roaring rendition of "99 Pounds," a song he wrote for her in 1972, charging into its signature line, "99 pounds of natural born goodness yo" with persuasive grit. Opener "Your Love is to Blame," where love gives "truth instead of lies," is a timeless horn-driven Memphis grinder. A new song, "Your Love is Too Late" with its Latin beat, tasteful horn charts and low, sinuous guitar part could have been recorded at Hi in the mid-70s. Most amazing on You Make Me Feel is when Bryant sings ballads, flawlessly hitting and holding high notes in "Don't Turn Your Back on Me," and "I'll Go Crazy," a cover from the canon of crosstown Memphis rival Stax Records. After years of listening to other singers telling stories— many of them from his songs—Don Bryant, with help from a devoted multi-generational, multi-racial backing band, has again joyfully found his voice. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

Soul - Released May 12, 2017 | Fat Possum

Dedicated to wife Ann Peebles, Don't Give Up on Love is Don Bryant's first secular album since 1969, the same year he placed a co-writing credit on This Is Ann Peebles. Bryant also recorded several singles for Hi Records during the latter half of the '60s, but he settled into penning songs for other artists and spun some gold with his partner, exemplified by "I Can't Stand the Rain." Long after Bryant devoted all his musical energy to the church, Hi Rhythm Section drummer Howard Grimes persuaded the singer to perform with him in the Bo-Keys. Bryant's return to R&B felt so right that it led to Don't Give Up on Love. Recorded in Memphis with several of the Bo-Keys, including Grimes and fellow Hi veterans Charles Hodges (organ) and Hubby Turner (keyboards), as well as bandleader Scott Bomar (bass), it stays true to the tradition of late-'60s/early-'70s Memphis soul. Much of that has to do with the enduring might of Bryant's voice. It seizes attention on the opening cover of Vernon Morrison and Don Robey's "A Nickel and a Nail" -- popularized by O.V. Wright, for whom Bryant wrote material -- and seldom loosens its grip through a set that is mostly originals composed by Bryant either alone or with Bomar. Out of the new songs, "How Do I Get There" is the standout, a resolute hybrid of gospel, blues, and soul where Bryant sings about the promise of the afterlife. Bryant also goes all the way back to 1960 for an update of "I Got to Know," which he wrote for vocal group the "5" Royales, and revisits his "It Was Jealousy," recorded separately during the early '70s by Otis Clay and Peebles. This is one pleasant and pleasing surprise. © Andy Kellman /TiVo

R&B - Released December 1, 2016 | Fat Possum


Soul - Released March 16, 1993 | Fat Possum


Soul - Released April 7, 2017 | Fat Possum


Gospel - Released July 15, 2010 | LocoBop

Soul - Released September 7, 2017 | Tuff City Records

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Soul - Released February 23, 2017 | Fat Possum