We are pleased to introduce a new feature from guest contributor, Kenan Hebert, who first caught our attention with his essay about the Wilco movie. This one’s even better. – ed.
1964. Martha Reeves’ voice bubbles up through unmentionable cracks, oozing with an indescribable, almost indecent sound. It’s soul, but it’s something else, too – soul with the gospel taken out. It’s pure sex, the most temporal of sounds, the sound not of a maven or a diva, but of a hot-blooded American girl, too high-pitched and raw for a Christian choir, but too powerful to be left in a shower. And while she did not write the songs that gave her voice form, neither would the songs have had it without her. Let’s listen.