SoulTracks Lost Gem: Ryan Shaw made a Four Tops classic his own

It was 2007 when we were introduced to Ryan Shaw via his auspicious debut album This Is Ryan Shaw, an album that recreated and updated the vibe of early Motown with absolute success. Shaw displayed a voice that was a unique combination of Bobby Womack and Terence Trent D'arby that whooped, wailed and pleds its way through this series of tracks like an old master. Perhaps more important was the song selection -- often the bugaboo of these types of projects. Shaw and veteran producers Johnny Gale and Jimmy Bralower chose eight mostly obscure covers and combined them with three Shaw originals to create an album that still sounds brilliant more than a decade later.

It was 2007 when we were introduced to Ryan Shaw via his auspicious debut album This Is Ryan Shaw, an album that recreated and updated the vibe of early Motown with absolute success. Shaw displayed a voice that was a unique combination of Bobby Womack and Terence Trent D'arby that whooped, wailed and pleds its way through this series of tracks like an old master. Perhaps more important was the song selection -- often the bugaboo of these types of projects. Shaw and veteran producers Johnny Gale and Jimmy Bralower chose eight mostly obscure covers and combined them with three Shaw originals to create an album that still sounds brilliant more than a decade later.

While the album didn’t get the commercial attention it deserved, we haven’t forgotten it – or stopped listening to it. For us, the show-stopping moment is Shaw’s passionate take on the Four Tops’ "I Am Your Man," an amazing track that Shaw makes his own, arguably even surpassing the original version.

“I Am Your Man” is our newest SoulTracks Lost Gem. If you didn’t hear it before, definitely check it out now. You’re going to love this.

by Chris Rizik

 
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