2015 was a year full of excellent soul albums, as the genre continues its comeback, including Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Leon Bridges, Canadian Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Sharon Jones and the Dap-King's excellent Christmas album, Anderson East works out of Nashville, and in the past has had some Americana and rock records, but this is his first full-on move into soul. No surprise given his locale and past that there's a good southern soul influence throughout.
Led by the standout track Satisfy Me, a heart-tugging vocal style, and an easy-going horns/organ groove, East fits nicely well into the legacy of Muscle Shoals, that '60's sound more and more people are rediscovering thanks to the recent documentary of the same name. There's even some cool YouTube footage of East and a big group grooving at Fame Studios. This is very much the product of a real band, real instruments, real recording techniques, if you care about those things (which you should).
East is a strong writer, and seems very comfortable coming up with tracks in the genre, nine of ten of them here. For further retro cred, the cover here is a Rick Hall (Fame Studios)/George Jackson cut, also done by Bobbie Gentry, Find 'Em Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em. For a slightly more modern touch, closing track Lying In Her Arms has the ring of an emotional Ryan Adams ballad. For additional warmth this winter, grab the vinyl, which also comes with a CD copy.