Best Old-School Soul Singer Singing New-School Soul-Blues

Stan Mosley

Critics' Picks

Not too many vocalists these days specialize in 60s- and 70s-style deep soul. Even on the southern soul-blues circuit, where veterans such as the late Johnnie Taylor forged new careers for themselves in the 80s and 90s, the emphasis isn't on that coarse, gospel-influenced style—instead there's a premium on youthful-sounding voices, supple yet strong enough to stand up to synthesized beats and backing tracks. Chicagoan Stan Mosley has a corrugated rasp and an irony-free emotional directness that hark back to his early deep-soul idols, most notably Bobby Womack, and he refuses the "southern soul" label (he's simply a "soul singer," he insists). But Mosley's earliest successes ("Anybody Seen My Boo," the explosive "Don't Make Me Creep") were released by erstwhile soul-blues powerhouse Malaco, and he remains known primarily along the same circuit that supports soul-blues mainstays such as Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul. Mosley also favors the programmed production that most of his contemporaries use, but that gritty voice of his can cut through anything—he can tear open your heart and then seal it back up without missing a beat.