CURTIS HARDING could best be described as a student of the gritty, sweat-dripping, hip-swinging blues that wafted through the air of the American sixties. The offspring of a mother who sang gospel, and a retired veteran, he traveled all over the country as a child, singing alongside his parents, learning that music was in fact the great communicator, and that the key was not just in how pretty the notes were, but how if you were honest in what you were singing, you could stir a person on the inside. This is what Otis Redding knew. What Sam Cooke, and Bo Diddley, and B. B. King knew. That somehow there was a way to take your experiences, your pain and joy, and give them melody, cause them to live and breathe and massage the hearts and minds of all those who hear.
That is what CURTIS HARDING does on his new album, Face Your Fear. He figures out how to tap into the old soul man of the past without mimicking or bastardizing it, but instead evoking the spirit of the true Soul music of yesterday, meshed with the realities of now. With a little production help from his friends Sam Cohen and Danger Mouse, CURTIS HARDING has put together a collection of tunes that NME described as “soul-meets-garage pop perfection.”