Love Light Orchestra recall the glory days of Memphis soul and blues on "Love and Happiness".
Acclaimed Memphis vocalist John Nemeth's latest project sees him joining forces with some of Tennessee's finest soul musicians. The ten-piece collective, called the Love Light Orchestra, brings their audience back to the era of 1960s R&B.
Complete with guitar, bass, drums, keys, and a horn quintet, the band achieves what they set out to do in their mission statement with Nemeth's passionate vocals steering them home. This much is indicative on their latest single, a fiery cover of Al Green's "Love & Happiness". In their interpretation of the song, the Love Light Orchestra rearranges it into a swinging, blues-laden affair that allows the entire band to show off their chops.
The band was co-founded by Marc Franklin, a song arranger and trumpeter. Franklin tells PopMatters that "Teenie's guitar line from 'Love and Happiness' always reminded me of the intro to 'Fables of Faubus' by Charles Mingus. So I kinda built the arrangement based on making that guitar line swing, and I gave what is normally a quiet and loose intro, a big Bobby Bland-style treatment. The rest just fell into place."
Love Light Orchestra's self-titled debut album releases on 17 November via Blue Barrel Records. It was produced in a live setting by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell) that fully captures the soaring spirit of the band.