Start With the Soul

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Alvin Youngblood Hart proved he could interpret country blues on BIG MAMA'S DOOR and reached into country swing and psychedelic rock on TERRITORY. But there was always the feeling that something was being repressed, as if Hart were only hinting at part of his story. Now the bluesman comes back with his most thematically-consistent set to date, START WITH THE SOUL, a set that boils over with his Bay Area blues rock roots and righteous anger. With Jimi Hendrix as his spiritual copilot, Hart drives into the opening cut, the trippy "Fightin' Hard," in which he's furious that our short lives have so many discrepancies and hurdles. On the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Alvin Youngblood Hart proved he could interpret country blues on BIG MAMA'S DOOR and reached into country swing and psychedelic rock on TERRITORY. But there was always the feeling that something was being repressed, as if Hart were only hinting at part of his story. Now the bluesman comes back with his most thematically-consistent set to date, START WITH THE SOUL, a set that boils over with his Bay Area blues rock roots and righteous anger. With Jimi Hendrix as his spiritual copilot, Hart drives into the opening cut, the trippy "Fightin' Hard," in which he's furious that our short lives have so many discrepancies and hurdles. On the funky Latinized "Manos Arriba," Hart declares that he's taking back everything from soul to personal identity and no amount of racial profiling will stop him. Even the old soul classic "Treat Her Like a Lady" and Chuck Berry's "Back to Memphis" rock with defiance. But never does Hart sound like he's simply spewing. Rather, the lyrics are filled with the thoughts behind the harsh truths he addresses, and the production, which is in the hands of Jim Dickinson of Ry Cooder and the Replacements fame,is well crafted, with subtle horns punching in here and there and keyboards occasionally adding ambience. Hart's sense of humor also emerges on the old country hit "Cowboy Boots," and he shows a feel for love, the real day-to-day kind rather than the obsessive variety, on the sultry "Once Again." Add guitar licks that range from country blues to jazz-infused funk and roadhouse rock, and START WITH THE SOUL showcases Hart's essence like never before.
All Music Guide - Campbell
Guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart dedicates his third release Start With the Soul to, among others, the late Thin Lizzy leader Phil Lynott. This isn't just lip service, as you can immediately hear when the opening roar of "Fightin' Hard" comes blaring through. Hart doesn't go out of his way to appeal only to blues followers. He has the natural ability to fuse twangy country, Hendrix, funk, and reggae into his Delta blues style without regard to genres. Start With the Soul is unlike other releases from artists who at the beginning of their career display an acoustic Delta approach only to end up incorporating a very commercial soul sound for the sake of reaching a wider audience or receiving minuscule radio airplay. The choice of cover versions is revealing; Chuck Berry's "Back to Memphis," Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose's 1971 hit "Treat Her Like a Lady," and the Sonics' mid-'60s garage rocker "The Hustler" lose none of the vigor of the originals. Credit should be given to the legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson for capturing the gritty sound critical to this kind of undertaking. It will be interesting to see where Hart goes with future releases.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/16/2000
  • Label: Hannibal
  • UPC: 031257144926
  • Catalog Number: 571449
  • Sales rank: 155,245

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alvin Youngblood Hart Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar
Jackie Johnson Vocals
Bill MacBeath Bass
Jim Spake Saxophone
Scott Thompson Trumpet
Larry Fulcher Bass
Daren Dortin Drums
Barry "Frosty" Smith Drums
Technical Credits
James Luther Dickinson Producer
Tony Wright Art Direction
Dawn Hopkins Engineer
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