One of 2019’s most-talked about singles so far has been ‘I Made A Deal With Myself’ from French retro soul man ALEXIS EVANS. Based in Bordeaux, Evans discovered soul via his English father and aged just 17 he won the “Cognac Blues Passion” award with his single ‘Jumping At The Westside’. He made his full recording debut in 2016 with the LP ‘Girl Bait’ but it’s ‘I Made A Deal With Myself’ that has ignited interest and the good news is that Alexis has just released the single’s parent album and it’s stuffed with similar flavours and tunes proving that it’s not just fine claret that comes flowing out of Bordeaux.
Young Monsieur Evans makes no secrets about his heroes and influences. High on his list are people like the Meters, Curtis and the Impressions and Bobby Womack and right across the 11 tracker you can hear shades of all three and more besides. Like Womack, Evans is a guitar-toting soul man and all his songs are embellished with thrilling guitar fills…. ‘I Made A Deal With Myself’ is a good example. The rough and tough, New Orleans funk of the Meters is most apparent on the loose-limbed ‘Chocolate Seller’ while the most obvious homage to the Impressions come via the wonderful ‘I’ve Come A Long Way’, the sweet ‘Your Words’ and the rougher ‘She Took Me Back’ .
Elsewhere enjoy plenty of old school, early soul stylings – as on ‘How Can I Get Over’ while the pace and parping brass on ‘It’s Not Wrong’ would make it a Northern contender if only the Northern fraternity took off their blinkers and embraced contemporary music.
But that’s another story for another time. For now I can heartily recommend Alexis Evans and his ‘I’ve Come A Long Way’. It’s a wonderful piece of contemporary soul with its roots firmly in soul’s golden age. It’s also a truly international affair. Recorded in Bordeaux, mixed in Sydney by Dojo Cuts’ and The Liberators’ leader Nate Goldentone and mastered in LA at Golden Mastering, it proves that soul-wise, globalization really works. The album is out now on CD, download, and –as you’d expect, vinyl.