A Bold Soul Man Gets Bolder

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/10714151/10714174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw has the guts, and the powerhouse voice, to pull off a Jackie Wilson cover. hide caption

itoggle caption

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "I'll Be Satisfied"
  • Artist: Ryan Shaw
  • CD: This Is Ryan Shaw
  • Genre: Soul

To cover a song by the great Jackie Wilson takes a lot of gumption, not to mention a lot of voice. But since Ryan Shaw says people are always comparing him to Wilson — and Sam Cooke and Otis Redding — he figured he might as well try one of the late soul singer's classics on his debut album, This Is Ryan Shaw.

Shaw doesn't think oldies need to be recast in a hip new style, so his version of Wilson's "I'll Be Satisfied" lays down the same groove that set the song on fire back in the day: a frisky organ, burbling horns and a heavenly choir that lays down a cushy cloud of "ahhhs."

But when the church-trained belter from Georgia unleashes his pretty, gritty tenor, he's no mere imitator. Running down a checklist of what he needs from his beloved ("just a kiss / just a smile / hold my hand, baby / just once in a while"), he wails and growls, he swoops up an octave just because he can, and he sounds like a modern man who's hopelessly, haplessly in love. Shaw calls it the most difficult song to sing on his debut, but he never seems to break a sweat.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

This column originally ran on June 5, 2007.

Featured Artist

Purchase Featured Music

This Is Ryan Shaw

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
This Is Ryan Shaw
Artist
Ryan Shaw

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.