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john65pennington's avatar

What's the difference between "northern r&b soul and southern r&b soul music?

Asked by john65pennington (29080 points ) August 12th, 2011

I thought that rhythmn and blues was the same for both the northern and the southern United States. Apparently there is a difference with the music recorded by different artists. Question: in your opinion, what are some of the songs, that have been recorded, that actually reflects either the north or the south r&b music? Would Chuck Berry be a good example? Where would he fit into the north vs. the south r&b music?

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4 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I would say southern is a little more laid back, and northern might have a little more edge to it. It’s a very subtle difference.I don’t know where I’d put Chuck.

pezz's avatar

One is called “northern r&b soul” and the other is called “southern r&b soul”, other than that I don’t know,

YoBob's avatar

While both forms share similar roots they evolved differently.

In the North you have more populated urban centers like Chicago and New York. The R&B of those areas have a bit more of a Jazz influence. OTOH, in the south, while it is true that Jazz is king in places like New Orleans, for the most part the R&B of the South has a more folksy “Mississippi Delta” feel.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Listen to some Motown records. They’re very sweet. Almost pop-oriented and very smooth. There’s violins and lyrics about Pagliacci (i.e. Tears of a Clown).

Then listen to some Stax records. They’re rawer, less “produced” sounding and have more of a blues feel. No one’s waxing lyrical about high opera. You won’t hear an oboe on a Stax record.

Then there’s the stuff I heard as a very small kid that I’m sure was even less mainstream than Motown or Stax were in the late 60s-early 70s, and on labels only a few even heard of. That stuff sounds like it was recorded in a backroom somewhere, but was deeply heartfelt and just straight-up gutbucket Southern from-the-holler soul.

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