TEDDY GROSSMAN is an LA-based singer/songwriter whose recent run of singles garnered much praise in the better American music press – both digital and “for real”. On the back of that acclaim, Grossman’s singles went on to win over 1 million streams across all platforms. Naturally we needed to investigate and we soon learned that Teddy has had a lifelong passion to make music – a music inspired by the gospel, blues folk, soul and country he enjoyed in his youth. However he needed to make a living and with music on the back burner, he spent a decade as a travelling salesman.
Teddy eventually quit that 9-5, relocated to Los Angeles and devoted himself to his vocation – writing and making music. He says: “I need to be able to look back at my life and say I gave it a real go.”
“Giving it a go” meant writing and recording an album – ‘Soon Come’ which has just won release and the 12 tracker is packed with variety – listen in and you’ll hear gospel, blues, indie rock, folk, Americana, country and, yes, soul. For sure, it’s not classic soul – but Grossman offers a soulful commitment to his craft – and it’s that commitment that gives ‘Soon To Come’ it’s unity. In places too he can deliver vocally with the truth and passion of people like James Carr while many of his songs hark back to the home spun story-telling style of people like Bill Withers.
Let’s focus on a few tracks. One of the LP’s lead singles, ‘Giving Up’ channels the blue-eyed soul of people like Halll and Oates (lovely sax solo here). ‘Leave It On The Line’ is a southern soul meander that could’ve come out of Memphis or Muscle Shoals; ‘Power In Pain’ offers more of the same – both with aching vocals that evoke the world weary sound of the aforementioned James Carr. Real soul enthusiasts know that Southern soul is a close bed fellow of country and that connection can be heard loud and clear on ‘Crowned’ (a song actually inspired by a chance encounter that Teddy had with Bill Withers!). The gentle, acoustic ‘What I Owe’ is classic Americana – shades of CSNY even. ‘Hollywoodland’ is the album’s jauntiest moment while the most poignant comes via ‘Why Should I Pretend’. This one’s has a real old time flavour. Hardly surprising, it was written in the 1930s by Grossman’s grandfather, Buddy and was later recorded later by jazz icon Louis Prima & his New Orleans Gang. Grossman even plays his childhood instrument, the trumpet on the song, as a tribute to his late grandfather. Elsewhere, ‘Out Of Thin Air’ rides a rocky guitar riff while ‘Faith’ is an introspective ballad.
So, yes, to reiterate, ‘Soon Come’ offers plenty of variety but delivers a unity via the honesty of the songs and the passion of the artist. Out now – and if you’ve enjoyed the music of people like Gideon King and Isaac Aragon, Teddy Grossman’s ‘Soon Come’ demands investigation.