Not since Dusty Springfield invaded Memphis has a white female singer dished up so flavorful a bucket of soul. Robin McKelle’s passion for classic American R&B-not the pasteurized pop produced by Motown, but the raw stuff that poured forth from Stax and Atlantic-was first exercised two years ago when she swung away from big band swing to deliver the down ‘n’ dirty Mess Around. Now she amps the grit to 11 alongside the hard-partying Flytones. Led by bassist and co-producer Derek Nievergelt (who seems far too young for such deep appreciation of the source material), the sextet scales Spector-dense arrangements that dazzlingly recall everyone from Wilson Pickett and Sam and Dave to Booker T. Jones and Archie Bell.
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