Stephen Kalinich and Jon Tiven: Each Soul Has a Voice

Photo: Andreas Werner

Considering the substantial pedigrees of the principals involved, it’s hardly surprising that Each Soul Has a Voice boasts an archival feel, one that sounds so seemingly so retro it often goes askew.

Each Soul Has a Voice

Label: MsMusic
US Release date: 2015-07-03
UK Release Date: N/A

Between the two of them, legendary music veterans Stephen Kalinich and Jon Tiven can boast a list of credits that’s as extensive and impressive as any resume in the biz. The proof lies in the roll call of superstars with whom they worked – a roster that includes the Beach Boys, the late B.B. King, Paul McCartney, Wilson Pickett, Alex Chilton, P.F. Sloan, and others too numerous to mention. Kalinich, for example, is known for having penned the lyrics for some of the most iconic songs in the Beach Boys’ catalogue. Tiven, once a rock journalist (Yes, there’s hope for some of us wannabes!), made an auspicious stage debut at New York’s fabled Max’s Kansas City with the band Big Star, and then went on to work as both a writer and producer with a immense array of iconic artists representing nearly every popular genre imaginable.

That said, when the two joined forces, they were given an opportunity to not only share their skills, but to also reap some recognition that was clearly their due. Not surprisingly then, the pair approached this album with the same earnest intent, enthusiasm and commitment that a novice would be expected to bring to bear on his or her first time out. Indeed, the press release that accompanied Each Soul Has a Voice claimed that the duo wrote some 700 songs for the album, from which they gleaned a scant fourteen. Once in the studio, Tiven multi-tasked as usual, contributing guitars, saxophones, Hammond organ, piano, harmonica, and vocals to the mix, while Kalinich helped chair the proceedings by sharing in the singing. Aside from Tiven’s wife Sally on bass and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars on drums, the album also features a variety of special guests, among them, Queen’s Brian May, Steve Cropper, and additional drummers Steve Ferrone and Anton Fig along with several others.

Considering the substantial pedigrees of the principals involved, it’s hardly surprising that Each Soul Has a Voice boasts an archival feel, one that sounds so seemingly so retro it often goes askew. The ragtag delivery of “Harmony Inner Peace & Tenderness” and the edgy discordant sound of May’s “Rude Awakenings” seem to indicate a desire to eschew polish and pretense in order to let loose through revelry and riposte. Likewise, when the pair harmonize haphazardly, the frayed edges only add to the sense of spontaneity. Oftentimes though, the music’s at odds with the spiritual themes etched in the album overall. Two of the most obvious examples come in the form of the thoughtful “Explosions of Love”, (“If you believe in love and a God who is great / What could he make of these explosions of hate?”) and the rock steady lament “Even the Angels” (“Even the angels cannot take away the pain and bring those soldiers back to life again / What will the future bring to make a million angels sing?”). It’s heady and heavenly, earthy and inspired, all at the same time.

Simply consider it as rock with a heart. Or better yet, passion for a purpose.





12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.


Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

By the Book

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.


Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold Celebrate New Album With Performance Video (premiere)

Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and Ingunn Ringvold share a 20-minute performance video that highlights their new album, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation. "This was an opportunity to perform the new songs and pretend in a way that we were still going on tour because we had been so looking forward to that."


David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.


On Their 2003 Self-Titled Album, Buzzcocks Donned a Harder Sound and Wore it With Style and Taste

Buzzcocks, the band's fourth album since their return to touring in 1989, changed their sound but retained what made them great in the first place

Reading Pandemics

Chaucer's Plague Tales

In 18 months, the "Great Pestilence" of 1348-49 killed half of England's population, and by 1351 half the population of the world. Chaucer's plague tales reveal the conservative edges of an astonishingly innovative medieval poet.


Country's Jaime Wyatt Gets in Touch With Herself on 'Neon Cross'

Neon Cross is country artist Jaime Wyatt's way of getting in touch with all the emotions she's been going through. But more specifically, it's about accepting both the past and the present and moving on with pride.


Counterbalance 17: Public Enemy - 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'

Hip-hop makes its debut on the Big List with Public Enemy’s meaty, beaty manifesto, and all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk. Counterbalance’s Klinger and Mendelsohn give it a listen.


Sondre Lerche and the Art of Radical Sincerity

"It feels strange to say it", says Norwegian pop artist Sondre Lerche about his ninth studio album, "but this is the perfect time for Patience. I wanted this to be something meaningful in the middle of all that's going on."


How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.