Best throwback soul band

Soulphonics & Ruby Velle

Staff Pick

Egomaniacal frontmen (and women) take note. Lest there be any doubt about magnanimity in the ranks of the classy and copious SOULPHONICS & RUBY VELLE, check out the name, where the backing band gets first billing. But that's far from the only reason we think they're the best. With a towering voice and steady spirit, the incandescent and impossibly young Ms. Velle is the seven-member group's onstage focal point. The grooving gem of a collective applies its members' exhaustive knowledge of the last few decades of soul to the construction of one funky, devastating sound attack. Simply, it'll make you wanna move. Soulphonics' Stax-indebted music is horn-heavy, grooving, family-friendly fare, but like all good rock and soul, there's a subtle measure of sex and sorrow afoot.

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