Fans of blues and soul singers will be in for a musical hat trick as the Slippery Noodle Inn hosts the Severn Soul Revue on July 19. Indy’s own Tad Robinson, Darrel Nulisch and Lou Pride will provide the soul.
“Tad and Darrell are real good guys,” Pride says. “We got no ego problems. We’re all just great entertainers, and that makes our job a lot easier.”
Pride grew up in North Chicago, listening to everything from John Lee Hooker to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “My family was diverse,” he says. “Blues and gospel equal soul.” That combination of Saturday night and Sunday morning really kicked in for Pride in 1970 while at a Ramada Inn in El Paso, Texas.
“Kenny Smith, a friend of mine, came up to me and said he had a little recording studio,” Pride says. “He asked me if I would like to record something. So I did. Like a boy taking his first taste of crack, I wanted to record some more.”
That first taste became recordings for the Suemi label. These would later be released by Severn Records in 2003 as The Memphis/El Paso Sessions 1970-73, a baker’s dozen of timeless soul songs. Pride said this was followed by a lot of touring.
“You name it, I’ve played it. Juke joints, some places we call the ‘Buckets of Blood.’ Every now and then, you’ll hit a good spot,” Pride says.
Nulisch gained early notice as the singer for Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. He’s also provided vocals for Mike Morgan and the Crawl, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and James Cotton. Nulisch has just released his fourth album on Severn, called Goin’ Back to Dallas.
Greencastle, Ind., resident Tad Robinson has recorded two albums for Severn. His latest, A New Point Of View, was released earlier this year. When not riding the soul bus, Robinson mixes Chicago blues with Memphis soul.
Pride can sprinkle soul and blues on any song he sings (check out his cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain” on Keep on Believing). There’s a chance that two or maybe three of the Severn singers will join each other for a sing-off.
“You never know,” Pride says. “We’re gonna give it all we got.”
Matthew Socey is host of The Blues House Party, Saturdays at 10 p.m. on WFYI 90.1 FM