One album that just barely missed my top 10 for 2010 was The Outsiders Are Back by Kings Go Forth, a very old-school-sounding soul band from Milwaukee. I saw Kings Go Forth for the first time last Friday (Jan. 21) at the Double Door, and the show proved that last year’s wonderful record is no fluke. In concert, the music sounded very close to the studio versions — not a note-for-note duplication by any stretch of the imagination, but a very impressive performance of songs that smartly use horns, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and lots of vocals to make the sort of grooves and riffs that made 1960s and early ’70s Motown, soul, funk and R&B records so memorable.
There was no opening act, other than the DJs of the Soul Summit Free Dance Party, who did a fine job of getting the crowd moving, priming the dance floor for the excitement of Kings Go Forth. A couple of friends overheard some audience members predicting that the band was about to break into “Shout!” Um, sorry, dudes, but this is actually a band that plays original soul music (written by bassist Andy Noble), not the same cover songs you hear other bands doing over and over again. But I can see why someone would make that mistake, because these songs have the makings of classic tunes. I’m eager to hear what Kings Go Forth does next.