Darrell Nulisch: The Whole Truth
Here's some authentic-sounding soul with a bluesy bent from singer-harmonica player Darrell Nulisch. Ex of Ronnie Earl's Broadcasters and Anson Funderburgh's Rockets, Nulisch a great voice, his songs and covers are full of passion, and his band is terrific.
The Whole Truth is Nulisch's second release under his own name. In addition to the leader, it features Joe Moeller (guitar), Bejie Porecki (keys), Steve Gomes (bass), and Robb Stupka (drums). This core group is augmented by the four-piece DC Horns, Ricardo Mouzon on percussion, and three female backup singers.
Too many white blues singers sound like they're mimicking black blues pioneers, but Nulisch's voice has a sincerity that transcends race. His music has a Stax feel and features Memphis-style horns and Moeller's stinging guitar. Porecki's work on organ deserves special commendation, and he also lights up the piano on the Latin-jazz instrumental "Lyla Tov."
I'm a sucker for blues shuffles, and "Stop Thinking Take (Start Thinking Give)" is an irresistible one that also delivers some sage social advice. Other choice cuts include the slow and soulful "There It Is," the funky instrumental "At-Cha-Mama-Nims," and the wistful blues tune "There's A Sad Story Here."
There's nothing feigned about The Whole Truth. In my opinion, Darrell Nulisch stands with Van Morrison and Delbert McClinton as one of our best blue-eyed soul singers, and he's equally adept on harp.