Soulganic | All Directions Forward

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United States - North Carolina

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Urban/R&B: Soul Urban/R&B: Funk Moods: Type: Experimental
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All Directions Forward

by Soulganic

The birth of Funky Indie Soul.
Genre: Urban/R&B: Soul
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fordham & Walton (On My Way Up)
5:51 $0.99
2. Avonelle
3:55 $0.99
3. If I Could Forget You
5:34 $0.99
4. Big Black Cadillac
4:56 $0.99
5. Identity Crisis
5:55 $0.99
6. Detox
4:34 $0.99
7. Closer
4:41 $0.99
8. Clouds of Yesterday
3:35 $0.99
9. Atacar
3:21 $0.99
10. Time
4:08 $0.99
11. Smell, Pt. 2 Featuring Bluz
4:18 $0.99
12. Living the Life
5:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The critically-acclaimed debut release of Funky Indie Soul pioneers Soulganic.

“Soul & Organic = Soulganic: yes; but indisputably we’re dealing with didactics as a pure doctrine of popular music creation: sparse arrangements made up of classical guitar, bass, and drums with quite precise & economic arcs of melody, and production that hasn’t tinkered around too much with the original sound. So what we get tries to reflect that straight out-of-the-garage live performance sound.

And the four from Soulganic (an understated sir on percussion can be added to the aforementioned trio) don’t limit themselves to Soul, they move it into a more apparent than actually identifiable influence in the musical gumbo of All Directions Forward. Rock & Funk, a trace of Jazz improvisation & inspiration, a relaxing Latin flow & rasping Blues provide the cornerstones to the Soulganic philosophy. It perhaps sounds a little like the early adventures of Red Hot Chilli Peppers: always emotional, energetic, and down-to-earth. For boys.” - Shortcuts,, Germany (2008)

“Soulganic—a solid…rootsy quartet out of Charlotte. Their sound brings about words one might expect from a nice rootsy lineup—groove, blues, dry, non-materialistic, live, meaningful. Soulganic is very obviously a great live band. We need that musicianship to continue building the fortress beneath the surface of American music. What it is…is soulful and organic—authentic.” - (2008)

“A staple of their critically-acclaimed live show, Soulganic’s trademark earthy energy is evident on their debut album All Directions Forward. This CD is full of talented musicians that collectively put their amazing energy and roots into a sound so organic and soulful. It gives you the feeling of actually being there at a live performance. All Directions Forward is a must have for those that love and thirst for great soulful undiluted music.” - (2008)

“The four members of the band Soulganic make groove like some of the R&B groups of the past. All Directions Forward is an album that captures the band’s signature jazzy neo-soul sound with the energetic vibe that they bring to their animated stage performances.” NPR (2007)

“Every track has a new groove and the same impressive vocals. But there is also enough variety to keep things new and fresh throughout the album. [Soulganic] is groovy, solid and original.” - Ultra Indie Album Reviews (2007)

“Let us introduce Soulganic…Together they brew up an intoxicating blend of funky soul with a distinctive Latin tinge and more than a dash of blues, rock, and jazz. All Directions Forward…does a fine job of recreating the club groove, especially on rock heavy tracks such as “Identity Crisis” and “Living the Life” as well as the blues tribute “Big Black Cadillac.” Torres, who originally hails from New York via Puerto Rico, is given free rein to demonstrate his virtuosity on congas and bongos on the up-tempo “Avonelle” and “Clouds of Yesterday” as well on the extended instrumental “Atacar” and the bossa nova styled “Time.” All Directions Forward is a solid debut from a promising band, and it will be interesting to see what direction they take in the future. No doubt it will be onward and upward for this talented quartet.” - (2007)

“All Directions Forward is a bit of a different groove than usual from this Carolina combo — a group who work in funky Neo Soul modes, but also bring in a bit of Latin and Caribbean influences as well! The sound is relatively laidback — played live, instrumentally, without a lot of extra beats or programming — and the group [has] a vamping approach to the rhythms that sets things up nicely before the lyrics come in. The outside influences mostly show themselves in these rhythms, which open up in some relatively fresh ways.” - Dusty Groove America (2007)

“Effortless soul/funk with a jazzy impetuous side is the sound dynamic from the band Soulganic. The new album All Directions Forward highlights the eclectic inspiration of this quartet.” - Debby Jet Jennings, The [Rock Hill, SC] Herald (2007)

“Charlotte-area quartet Soulganic condenses its critically praised, soulful funk-blues into an intimate debut album [with an] emotional edge. The disc verges into alternative hip-hop territory on the enthralling “Smell Pt. 2″, a detailed meditation on scent that features descriptive, poetic spoken word courtesy of Bluz. And “Big Black Cadillac” borrows from Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” crossing the line between classic blues-rock and soul.

Drummer Cory McClure, guitarist Ryan McKeithan and percussionist Lucas Torres rein in their desire to stretch out and jam, which means this album lacks the loose, improvisational feel of their live shows. But it gives the listener and overview of Soulganic’s groovy jams. ***1/2 (out of ****)”- Courtney Devores, Charlotte Observer (2007)



to write a review

Elliot Troper

Buy the album, but come to the show...
From start to finish, this album is an audio feast. From the fan favorite, bassline driven, opening track, to the final post-modern trippie grunge of the closing track, you'll be treated to one of the best releases this year. Expanding the limits of what soul & urban music is, McClure, Torres, McKeithan, & Rodriguez bring a sound that is both groovy & accessible without being too cheesy, as many bands who attempt the genre-blend come off. With support from some of the Charlotte music scene's best, including the slam master poet extraordinaire, Bluz (check him out on adding his unique poetic touch to the track "Smell, Pt.2", a sequel of sorts to part 1 on his own album; there are also co-composition credits for former band member ML Caldwell ( on two of the songs.
If you are savvy, let the experience continue online at their website & hear the stuff that didn't make the album, but can be downloaded for FREE!!! Again, there are some wonderful gems & great guest appearances. The sax twin dynamo's from Audioform (another hot band on the Charlotte music scene - check them out on join former gig partners on the song "Mother, Father", a fan favorite at the shows. And, again, we see the name of ML Caldwell (or Marcus) as stories tell about the song histories, except this time, we get to hear Caldwell playing on a song he co-composed, "Song of the Ghetto."
The only unfortunate thing about the overall sound is that the highs are just that, too high, & it all sounds a bit too digitized, as this is probably from recording on digital equipment rather than that warm analog sound that the live shows (& consequently the merchandise sporting the "keep it reel" with reel to reel tape on it) would suggest. On "Identity Crisis", however, there are too many effects on the guitar. Couple this with the fact that McKeithan is playing far too many notes in what seems to be a more simple pattern, & the song just sounds like noise. Plus, it lacks the raw energy of the live show. This, again, as far as sound goes, is the fault of the mixer, engineer, &/or mastering company, rather than the band. And from the sound, you would think that McKeithan is the band leader, as the guitar work seems to dominate every track. Fan favorite, "Detox", a song that sounds best suited on a McKeithan solo album, falls flat here. The vocals sound contrived and unsure, while the guitar work, normally eloquent, comes off a bit lackluster and uncertain. Torres is barely audible on a few tracks, & this is unfortunate, as he is one of the main reasons that fans come out to see the band. McClure does his best on drums to liven up the album & even does a little Rhodes work, though it is so low in the mix that you might have missed it (on "Closer") The album would have definitely benefited from a bit more keyboard work, as there seem to be some almost inherent piano or organ parts to certain songs on the album. And while a capable vocalist is found in Rodriguez, the album suffers from lack of backing vocals that could have really added to harmonic quality of some of the songs. Perhaps a female vocal in the background next time, guys. Rodriguez's bass work shows promise, but is less engaging than his vocal work. Finally, many of the songs sound extremely similar, minor chords & very familiar guitar riffs pepper the album, sometimes causing you to question if one song has ended & another has begun. But, there is enough diversity in genre & range to help you overlook this fact.
Overall, check out the album as an introduction into the world of Soulganic, but, come to the show to see why they are a great band.

Elliot Troper
Free Music Adviser

John Green

Album has potential but many songs lack a real climax and sound alike
Some of the tracks such as closer are engaging musically but repetitive (ex:I wanna be closer... To You.... (Repeats)) On many occasions the vocalist tries to really drive the songs home by going into his falcetto, (which I personally felt was weak.) Musically though many of the songs are on point, such as the music accompanying the spoken word.