Here’s the disclaimer: any attempt to suggest that one singer is better than the other unleashes endless comparisons and no true resolution. For example, remember how every folk-pop singer in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s was being touted as “the next Dylan”? Well, that title eventually (and rightfully) went to his son, Jakob, and even he didn’t want it.
But the other day I tossed the new Curtis Salgado CD, Soul Shot, into the player in my car, and what I heard made me believe he is number one. Salgado has serious pipes, and such a deep vibe, that his music turned my practical import ride into a freewheelin’ Detroit cruiser. Now that’s soul.
Salgado’s musical history reveals just how much he brings to the table. After starting his career in his hometown of Eugene, Ore., in the late 1960s, Salgado would eventually be invited to be the lead singer in incarnations of the Robert Cray Band and Roomful of Blues.
Over the years, he’s been hired as a vocalist on dozens of recordings and toured with Ronnie Earl, Steve Miller and Carlos Santana. Salgado had also recorded six acclaimed solo albums before critical medical issues sidelined him in 2006. While recovering from an emergency liver transplant, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Following his recovery in 2008, Salgado released the appropriately titled album Clean Getaway, which proved the dynamic performer was back, better than ever. Salgado’s tour for that record found him at the 2010 Edmonton Blues Festival. The audience was absolutely knocked out. It’s probably a good thing the open-air venue, the Heritage Amphitheater, doesn’t have doors. They would have been blown off by the power of his performance.
Curtis Salgado performs "Summertime Life" at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Toronto, Ontario - July 2011.
Whether live or on record, Salgado remains true to his personal motto: “Be honest and be real. Treat every show like it’s the biggest night of your life.” Soul Shot proves Salgado’s unwavering commitment to his music. I’d be happy to lead the campaign to crown him king of soul.
Salgado will be having surgery on July 18 to deal with a recurrence of lung cancer. According to his website, “Salgado will be hospitalized for a period of four to six days and will require a recovery time of up to four weeks. Salgado and his doctors anticipate a complete recovery.” We wish the best to the pending king of soul.
I am happy to forward this info from Alligator Records, that Curtis Salgado's surgery was a success. Here is hoping that you have a quick and strong recovery, Curtis!
CBC Music R&B/Soul
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