DIRTY SOUTHERN SOUL
THE DREAM–CAROLINA DAYS (BOOTSIE’S SONG)–DO YOU NO HARM–ALL I GOT LEFT–WEREWOLVES (MAKE LOUSY BOYFRIENDS)–BRING YOUR LOVE–MY JOHNNY–C’MON BABY (I GOT YOUR SHOES)–AIN’T NO MAN–BOY THEY GONNA OWN YA–ALREADY ALRIGHT–I’D RATHER GO BLIND
Guitarist, vocalist, and composer Pam Taylor was mentored by none other than Debbie Davies, and she has a deeply-soulful voice you can’t help but love. The ability to play stringed instruments came naturally to Robert Johnson, Jr., and when their respective bands broke up in 2014, they combined their considerable talents to form Stolen Hearts. They proudly present some good ole “Dirty Southern Soul,” eleven originals and one blow-you-away cover that show why these two amazing individuals work seamlessly together.
The set starts with Pam’s rockin’ tale of “breaking hearts and guitar strings,” “The Dream.” This one hits you like a long-lost Delaney And Bonnie cut, especially with that sax from Mike Taylor. Robert takes a mellow approach with a couple of songs that hearken back to the days when “you were hotter than a firecracker,” “Carolina Days.” And, the country-blues of “Do You No Harm” has him hoping “her daddy don’t find out” about his love affair!
One of the reasons this set is such fun is Robert’s “love song” about “the way the moon shines in your eyes!” It’s called “Werewolves (Make Lousy Boyfriends), and, with all the wah-wah going on, it has a definite Hendrix vibe!
Pam has some good moments, too. A straight, no-chaser slow blues finds Pam singing “you took my money and my dog, too, and All I Got Left is the blues.” And, with one of the coolest love songs we’ve heard in quite some time , Pam proudly tells everyone about her lover—“you’re My Johnny, and I’m your June,” featuring Robert on mandolin.
Two of Robert’s vocals sound as if they were borne of the Crossroads of his namesake, where that infamous deal sho’ nuff went down. The defiance of “Ain’t No Man” stands tall with Southern pride, while a warning to those who “don’t walk right” is “Boy They Gonna Own Ya.”
Our favorite closed the set. Pam’s vocal is powerful and emotive on an eight-minutes-of-bliss read of “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
Now engaged, Pam Taylor and Robert Johnson, Jr, are having a lot of fun with “Dirty Southern Soul.” Both are giving back to the community, too, thru raising money for various charitable causes. But, above all, they feel their music has the power to heal, and we wholeheartedly agree! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.