The inimitable Jeb Loy Nichols recently announced details of the release of a 6-track mini-album titled Ya Smell Me, scheduled for release on Friday 11th December via City Country City Records. The Wyoming-born artist who’s been laying down his craft since the 80’s and now lives in Wales on a remote smallholding, where he “spends his time making art, playing music, writing, worrying, digging holes and planting things.” With a unique style that mixes elements of soul, country, folk, reggae and blues we thought we’d ask Jeb to put together a playlist of songs that represent the various influences upon his music. There’s an impressive breadth of soulful gems on this playlist. So, without further ado, over to Jeb…
“Picking ten tracks is like standing on the beach and picking your favourite wave. It’s insane. They just keep on coming and changing, there’s always something new.” Jeb Loy Nichols:
1. Old Man Me – Frank Hutson
A deep, mysterious southern soul gem. Maybe my favourite song of all time.
2. Bobby Womack – You’re Messing Up A Good Thing
Hard to choose only one Womack song. This one is a killer – from one of the best albums he made.
3. George Jones – Memories Of Us
I grew up listening to George Jones. One of the most soulful singers that ever lived.
4. Ace Spectrum – Moving On
A great arrangement, beautiful strings, a mighty groove. I remember playing this over and over at my mother’s house in Arkansas.
5. Donnie Fritts – Sumpthin Funky Goin On
The true Country Soul Brother Number One. A great artist, a gentleman, an inspiration.
6. Tribe Called Quest – Verses From The Abstract
I moved to New York in 1979 and fell in love with hip-hop. I thought it was all over by 1983 but the Tribe proved me wrong.
7. James Brown – Take Some-Leave Some
The most important American musician ever. Or at least it seems that way to me. A colossus.
8. Merle Haggard – What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life)
The big man of my youth. I’ve learned everything I know about songwriting from him.
9. Curtis Mayfield – Back To The World
Listen to this and marvel. No easy answers, no easy questions. This is how it was to grow up in America.
10. Larry Jon Wilson – Sheldon Churchyard
My number one musical hero. A neglected outsider who combined country, soul and funk to give us the world according to Wilson. How great is this song?