AJ & The Jiggawatts, The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts, The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Records owned Friday night at The High Watt with a three punch line up of Magic In Threes , DeRobert & The Half Truths and AJ & The Jiggawatts delivering non-stop danceable James Brown swagger with a DJ mixing up soulful vinyl in-between the sets.

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Openers, Magic In Threes set up some psychedelic soul instrumental grooves that show what GED Soul is known for. GED is at the center of a scene that has developed over the last few years after the retro soul show that was on the now defunct or actually format changed WRVU out of Vanderbilt that turned several Belmont University Music program students into late sixties/ early seventies urban soul audiophiles that carried over into bands, original songs and the GED Soul label.

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Many of the same musicians play in the three different configurations which isn’t much different than back in the Stax days when Booker T & The MG’s were the backbone rhythm section to most of the recordings that came out of those Memphis days as well as touring the world as featured in the live DVD of Otis Redding in Europe that captured Steve Cropper and “Duck” Dunn locking lines together.

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

DeRobert has some solid range and a great deal of dynamics all the way from some Donny Hathaway style ballads to some hard punchy danceable grooves. DeRobert & The Half Truths were one of the main headliners on Record Store Day at The Groove where GED Soul was spinning records all afternoon and it was good to see how DeRobert came across under nightclub lights and a decent PA System.

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

DeRobert, sonically is ready to go up against any Mark Ronson or Brooklyn Daptone production with a strong voice and solid material like “Beg Me” and “Just Don’t Care” off of his Record Store Day EP.

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

By the end of hour, DeRobert had put his heart and soul into his set and had a towel draped across his shoulder to catch some sweat as needed. DeRobert seemed to capture the biggest chunk of the crowd, but, most stayed around to catch AJ & The Jiggawatts finish up the night.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

While AJ may not have the range of DeRobert, he does manage to come across strong as a front man which is a great trait to have when you consider Otis Redding would be in that company. Otis used everything he had and is considered one of the all time greats although he only had about a 3 to 5 note range.  AJ stormed through “Hard Times” and “Don’t Mess With Me” like it was 1972 all over again and the streets were wide open and there weren’t any police cameras and drones to keep the street hustlers in line.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul brought along plenty of the vinyl only label releases to take home and spin on an Ortofon equipped turntable through a big vintage pair of Altec Lansings pumped up by a Marantz 200 watt per side point to point wired 75 pound amplifier / receiver.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul shows a strong Nashville representation of what goes all the way back to Jefferson Street and the days of classic soul. What would be good to see is a mash up recording of somebody like AJ and Nashville’s Queen of The Blues, Marion James to really stir up some retro real sounds.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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