Local Spotlight: Curtis Harding @ The EARL 7/12

Curtis Harding

Soul isn’t just a feeling. It’s not just a sound or a movement. It’s something much deeper. It’s a connection, a current in the air — the spark of recognition, emotions leaping across live wires. It’s a sinewy bassline steering you toward the stranger across the club. It’s how a handful of humble words can give millions the inspiration to overcome.

Curtis Harding will tell you that soul music, and his music, speaks for itself and that’s evident on the Atlanta artist’s debut, Soul Power. The driving sound of his electrified Stratocaster, the foot-stomping backbeat, and the lyrics swimming in reverb — with something this flourishing, it’s almost reductive to just dig around the roots.

Harding’s style was born in Michigan and bred on the road in a restless childhood spent singing gospel alongside his mother, then finally cultivated in Atlanta where he sang backup for CeeLo Green and befriended the Black Lips (he plays with Cole Alexander in Night Sun).

But, as befits a restless traveler, his music calls one place home, but fits in anywhere. The moving story of his new album could easily be his own, or it could be yours. They’re scenes you didn’t perform in, but you know all the lines.

There’s a foundation to the stirring soul Harding has created. “Gospel is inspiring,” says Harding. “From hardship and trials, you make something beautiful. It’s the history of black people in America, what happened to us during slavery. It’s the foundation of blues, R&B, soul, country, rock.” But he’s not just preaching to the choir — he’s out there on the road singing alongside everyone else looking for something real.

Curtis Harding plays The Earl on Saturday, July 12th in support of his debut album, Soul Power, just out on Burger Records. Tickets are $10. Doors will open at 9pm. Online, phone, and outlet sales close at 6pm on the day of the show.





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