CD Review: David Hull's "Soul In Motion"
The Message For The Week Chester, VT Oct. 27, 2010
Veteran New England rocker David Hull is one of those musicians that seems to ride along the fringes of stardom while providing over 30 years of rock-solid rhythms for such luminaries as Joe Perry, Farrenheit, Buddy Miles, James Montgomery and the Legends of Rock & Blues. He even did a stint with Aerosmith on their 2006 "Route of all Evil" tour.
Therefore, it is nice to see David getting the opportunity to step out front and release his first solo effort on Oar Fin Records titled Soul In Motion, a true melting pot of heavy rock and R & B blues-and soul, with a pinch of psychedelia and a few dashes of acoustic guitar and piano sprinkled in for good measure.
From the opening track (also the first single) titled "Pay Some Attention", Hull slides right on in with a full-blown-tight, bluesy R & B sound reminiscent of Keith Richard's cool solo band in the 80's, all full of slinky-cool rhythms, the hip Uptown Horns and David's smooth, laid back vocals. From there, the "melting" kicks in with the rockin' title track featuring nimble bass lines, raunchy guitar riffs and rippin' solos from old friend Joe Perry... this song could be the second single!
The proceedings then downshift a bit for the sympathetic acoustic strum of "Forgive You Again", the chipper vibe of "Morning Song" and the piano ballad "Heaven Knows", featuring some beautiful horn and string arrangements with a finely delicate vocal from David. Although primarily a bass player on stage, Hull certainly shows his true versatility not only on electric and acoustic guitar but also as a songwriter and lead singer, his unique vocal style revealing a Tom Petty-like rasp at times.
Such is the case on the revved up "Dark World" and "Life So Far", (featuring old Farrenheit band mate Charlie Farren on backing vocals)in which David also reveals a more reflective side in his songwriting that balances well with the heavier vibes.
However, as his long time followers know, David's roots lie much deeper, buried somewhere between straight-up hard rock and some bar room R & B blues, a groove that certainly shines through on tracks like "Cool Running", "Strange Devices" and the closing "All Gonna Die". Each of these tracks offer infectious riffs and unique embellishments throughout, including an amazing guitar sound on "Your Second Biggest Mistake" and another bad-ass, psychedelic solo on the aforementioned and up-tempo "Dark World". Recorded at the Terrarium in Minneapolis, producer Brynn Arens creates clear, bright production values with additional arrangements from Mick Leonard and JD Dworkow-who also co-wrote three tracks with David.
On the whole, something that really stands out for this reviewer is the evidence of true creativity and the freedom to do things on your own terms. Something that I'm sure, has rattled around in Mr. Hull's "soul" for years. One's own ideas and words that build into songs, then taking the chances, stretching out and accepting the responses no matter. And to that end, lest I forget the "low end" of things, for David is truly one of the most soulful bass players this listener has ever grooved on.
So just sit back, close your eyes and feel those precision bass lines in "Life So Far, "Cool Running" and "Your Second Biggest Mistake", then you'll know exactly what I mean. Soul In MotionM/em> is indeed a triumphant debut from a hard-working musician who has taken his rightful shot in the spotlight and run with it. And that's "pretty cool".
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