A T TOOMBS; Veteran Of Love (Soul Junction)

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UK specialist label, Soul Junction don’t issue too many CD albums so when they do you know that it will be worth investigating. And if you’re a fan of unpretentious, old school soul then A T Toombs’ ‘Veteran Of Love’ is worth checking out.

Anthony Toombs hails from Milwaukee where he’s a maintenance engineer at a bank. At night though he works the clubs and in his spare time he writes songs and his best nine are on this album. Toombs has been mentored by soul veterans Johnny Mills and David Bursey. Bursey has been part of the Esquires and Brother By Choice and his influence can be heard in the overall old school vibe of ‘Veteran Of Love’.

Get the flavour of the album right from the start with the opener, ‘Playing The Field’. It’s a pacey dancer, allowing Anthony to show what he can do vocally. ‘Past Love’ is another decent groove, More mid-tempo, it might interest the more sophisticated end of the modern soul crowd. ‘For The Ladies Only’ is the album’s big ballad while ‘Club Hangin” is another catchy cut.

Throughout Anthony sings his socks off but what holds things back are the programmed drums and the sequenced backing tracks. Sure, budget considerations come into play here, but when young A T Toombs gets himself some cash to do things in the style that matches his voice he could be a contender.

(BB) 3/5