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No Place Like Soul

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Playing in a jam band can be exhausting, what with all that guitar-noodling and such. So for their sixth CD, No Place Like Soul, the instrumentalists of Soulive recruited help: reggae singer Toussaint. On this third release, the group’s first with the newly revived Stax (see below), the once-jazzy foursome makes earnest use of Toussaint’s funk and soul tendencies on the murky, dub-infused ”If This World Was a Song.” But ultimately, vocal-less standouts (”Outrage”) remind you that Soulive are most in their element when indulging in fiery fretwork. B

The Joy of Stax
Formed in 1957, Stax Records has come to define Southern soul, nurturing the likes of Booker T. & the MGs and Otis Redding. The imprint famously hosted 1972’s Wattstax, a ”Black Woodstock,” featuring Isaac Hayes and Richard Pryor, to commemorate the Watts riots. Stax went bankrupt in 1975 and didn’t drop another LP until March of this year, when the shingle (now owned by Conchord Records) released — what else? — Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration.