First Listen: Bridge City Revival and Arietta Ward deliver the classic soul vibe

(June 9, 2021) We’ve learned a lot about the music of Portland, Oregon and about the songwriters, vocalists and musicians who created those songs. Over the years, SoulTrackers have met Esperanza Spalding, Liv Warfield, and Jarrod Lawson, just to name a few. To that list, add the name Bridge City Revival.

The members of this soulful collective have been making music in and around Portland, as well as other parts of the country for a while. The core of Bridge City Revival consists of drummer (and SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award winner) Tyrone Hendrix, guitarist Gus Berry, bassist and keyboardist Michael Elson and trumpeter and founder Farnell Newton, who collaborate with a group of talented Portland-based vocalists and musicians on some hard driving original, analog soul that seeks to capture the sound and spirit of the 1960s.

(June 9, 2021) We’ve learned a lot about the music of Portland, Oregon and about the songwriters, vocalists and musicians who created those songs. Over the years, SoulTrackers have met Esperanza Spalding, Liv Warfield, and Jarrod Lawson, just to name a few. To that list, add the name Bridge City Revival.

The members of this soulful collective have been making music in and around Portland, as well as other parts of the country for a while. The core of Bridge City Revival consists of drummer (and SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award winner) Tyrone Hendrix, guitarist Gus Berry, bassist and keyboardist Michael Elson and trumpeter and founder Farnell Newton, who collaborate with a group of talented Portland-based vocalists and musicians on some hard driving original, analog soul that seeks to capture the sound and spirit of the 1960s.

Those guests include soul singer Ural Thomas, Motown drummer Mel Brown, legendary lead and backing vocalist Saeeda Wright, vocalist Ronnie Wright and Arietta Ward. Ward is the focus of this First Listen as lead vocalist on the tune “Lucky Me.” She is the daughter of Janice Scroggins, pianist and musical educator, who was born in Oklahoma before migrating to Oakland and eventually Portland in 1978. Ward is a licensed cosmetologist, and the vocalist says she sees connections between cosmetology and music. “In both fields you have to create.”

“Lucky Me” finds Ward using her powerful vocal instrument to tell a story about the good fortune that comes when a person finds that special someone. The vibe created by a band that features soulful guitar riffs in a musical conversation with horns while operating on a solid foundation built by the rhythm section will go down real easy for fans of classic soul. Check out Arietta Ward and Bridge City Revival on “Lucky Me” here.

By Howard Dukes

 

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