Ameranoche's 'Sun Shine Soul' album review
By Sari N. Kent, 6/4/2015
5.0 Stars - I Loved It!
Boston-based gypsy flamenco trio Ameranoche’s latest album, Sun Shine Soul, which was released on May 1 by Red Squirrel Records. It evokes sheer elation with its energetic guitar work mixed with spicy jazz tones, Ottoman traditions and downhome Philly soul.
This spirited threesome is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Richard “Shepp” Sheppard, guitarist Jack Soref along with upright bassist/vocalist Michael K. Harrist with special guest percussionist/vocalist Tobey Sol-LaRoche on “Could It Be That I’m Falling In Love.”
All three musicians have concentrated technical musical backgrounds and are extremely adventurous when it comes to their music. According to Soref, “There’s nothing specific the music has to be. There is infinite possibility and taking that journey together is more what drives us than any given style.” Sheppard founded the group 10 years ago, but it was years before he found himself playing with Harrist and Soref as the trio they are today.
The opening track is the title track. Its catchy guitar work from Sheppard and Soref make it an extremely danceable track. Interestingly enough, their strums bring about an island rhythm, which is aided by Harrist’s upright bass play in the background.
“Clair De Lune” was first recorded in 1947 by hot jazz aficionado Django Reinhardt. It has got a sexy tempo with a Philly soul twist that could make listeners envision swaying their hips along with their lover on the dance floor.
The sixth track on the album, “Could It Be That I’m Falling In Love,” features Sol-LaRoche. The speedy combo of Sheppard and Soref’s guitar play complements Sol-LaRoche’s suave vocals as he sings lines like, “Every time I speak your name. you say that you are so helpless, that you don’t know what to do…When you go you take your love away… Could It Be That I’m Falling In Love with you baby. Could It Be That I’m Falling In Love. Could It Be That I’m Falling In Love.” The inclusion of this euphoric cover of this track by The Spinners is an homage to Sheppard’s love of Philly soul.
“Miah Maull” is devoted to the stunning Miah Maull shoal lighthouse, which is located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay. Sheppard and Soref’s guitars bounce off each other, which brings about the instrument’s harmonious nature. In addition, Harrist’s upright bass in the background enhances the soft, magical tone of the track.
In conclusion, Sun Shine Soul by Ameranoche is an infectious blend of fiery jazz, old world traditional music and soulful pulses.