2018 was a generous year for new soul and funk music. “The Funky Boombox” curated a list of their 25 favorite songs of the year. One of this year’s highlights was the launch of Denver based, Color Red Records. Color Red released music from two artists on the list, Matador! Soul Sounds and Analog Sons. The list includes artists from around the world and down the block, including Lack of Afro, Lucinda Slim and Gizelle Smith from England, The Bamboos from Australia and Colorado’s The Motet. “The Funky Boombox” will feature their favorites of 2018 side-by-side with their favorites of 1968 on Friday, December 28th and January 4th. The Funky Boombox, hosted by Rob Seligmann, blends classic and current soul and funk. The Funky Boombox can be heard Friday nights, 10 to Midnight, on KUVO Jazz.
1. Eli Paperboy Reed – Well, Alright Now
Eli Paperboy Reed meets The High & Mighty Brass Band, Yep Rock Records Eli meets his soul-mates on this high-octane remake of one of his early records.
2. The Suffers – Do Whatever
Everything Here, Shanachie Entertainment, Gulf Coast Soul that unapologetically struts and shouts about the joys of seizing the day, every day.
3. St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Apollo
Young Sick Camellia, Single Lock Records, The band from Birmingham does it again; other-worldly vocals stacked on-top of a solid foundation of southern soul.
4. Matador! Soul Sounds – Go On, Love
Single, Color Red, Released on Denver’s Color Red label, the song is propelled by the powerful voices of Adryon DeLeon and Kim Dawson.
5. The Motet – That Dream
Single, Self-Released, Recorded at Scanhope Sound in Morrison, The Motet made this track greasier than a slice of pepperoni pizza….and just as tasty.
6. JC Brooks Band – Better Class of Thieves
Red Black and Blue, Vol. 1, JC Brooks Band Inc., The Chicago band mixes cold funk with social commentary; a message you can dance to.
7. Judith Hill – The Pepper Club
The Golden Child, Judith Hill. You just walked into the hottest bar in town – a Prince-inspired juke-joint jam that hits the spot.
8. Lucinda Slim – Two Winters Long
Lucinda Slim, Haggis Records, Sweet Soul-Pop from the British singer backed by The Haggis Horns. The song would sound right at home next to the records of its original singer, Irma Thomas.
9. The Bamboos – Lit Up
Night Time People, Tru Thoughts, The greatest funk band from south of the equator serves up a party anthem for the world.
10. Ben Pirani – Light of My Life
How Do I Talk to My Brother, Colemine Records, The Summer of 1966 – a picnic in the park – switch on the transistor radio, that’s Ben Pirani.
11. Big Sam’s Funky Nation – Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further
Songs in the Key of Funk, Vol. 1, Self-Released, Trombone player and singer “Big Sam” Williams breathes new life into the Allen Toussaint classic.
12. All this Love That I’m Giving – Orgone
Undercover Mixtape, Colemine Records, One of thirteen classic soul and funk covers on the record, this track features Adryon DeLeon’s blistering vocal performance of a Gwen McCrae 1979 disco burner.
13. New Mastersounds – Funk 49
Renewable Energy, One Note Records, A funky, yet faithful remake of the classic Joe Walsh song, featuring guitarist Eddie Roberts on lead vocals.
14. Gizelle Smith – Hey Romeo
Ruthless Day, Jalapeno Records / Kudos Records, Just the right amount of disco-dust sprinkled on the record means that Romeo and Juliet will meet again on the dance floor.
15. Durand Jones and The Indications – Put A Smile On Your Face
Single, Colemine Records, Haunting back-ground vocals add atmospheric depth to a slow dance, tears-on-the-pillow soul song.
16. Leon Bridges – Bad Bad News
Good Thing, Columbia, Leon Bridges updates his retro r&b sound on this sophomore record, delivering a shiny, slinky neo-soul gem.
17. Analog Son – Got To Get Down
Funky Mother, Color Red, The Denver band’s tribute to everyone who’s working hard, watching the clock, and ready to party.
18. Black Pumas – Black Moon Rising
Single, Colemine Records, Funk meets Blues on the debut single from the Austin band. Cruising music so good, the car practically drives itself.
19. Tower of Power – Butter Fried
Soul Side of Town, Mack Avenue, An instrumental work-out from the iconic horn band’s 50th Anniversary album.
20. Wesley Bright and The Honeytones – Happiness
Single, Colemine Records, Retro Soul from America’s Heartland that activates the smile reflex.
21. Candi Staton – Can I Change My Mind
Unstoppable, Beracah Records / Thirty Tigers, Candi’s version of the 1969 classic, originally recorded by her former mentor Tyrone Davis, proves that great songs are timeless.
22. Lack of Afro – Good Love (ft. Emma Noble)
Jack Of All Trades, LOA Records, Composer and Producer Adam Gibbon (aka Lack of Afro) delivers a bouncy-funk song about love on the rocks, featuring vocals by British singer, model, and actress, Emma Noble.
23. Ruby Velle and The Soulphonics – Love Less Blind
State of All Things, Self-Released, Stax Style Southern Soul from the Atlanta band’s sophomore record.
24. DeRobert & the Half-Truths – Judgment (part 1)
Single, Colemine Records, Authentic raw soul from Nashville; the song is a relentless foot-stompin’, rip-roarin’ good time.
25. Tell Your Mama – Aloe Blacc
Christmas Funk, Aloe Blacc Recordings, Inc., Sweet nostalgia over an old-school beat, this one should be heard during the holiday season for years to come
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