From record collectors to djs to music creators – sound familiar? Such is the path followed by brothers Johnnie and Bin Neeman whose love of soul music and in particular the northern soul sound has ultimately found them still keeping the faith, decades down the line from their discovery of rare soul back in 1970s childhoods, and releasing their debut LP in a new band in 2023 alongside Men Of North Country singer Yashiv Cohen. With a story like that, there could pretty much only be one name for such a band – The Faithful Brothers – a name so appropriate in fact, they used it for the LP in question too! Delve further into the band’s genesis and it seems Cohen has actually been the driving force all along, setting up the Tel Aviv Soul Club in the early ’00s and enticing the brothers Neeman out of their living rooms and behind the decks, impressive record collections in tow. This mission accomplished, Cohen subsequently decides that Men Of North Country’s mod-rock-soul blend needed a purer soul side-project and persuades the Neemans aboard along with assorted other members of MONC and several other Tel Aviv soulie musicians. The brothers were initially co-opted for lyric-writing duties but it wasn’t long before they were bringing along guitar and piano and the Faithful Brothers were very much a ‘thing.’
And so to the music. The twelve-tracker is a delight to listen to from start to finish, kicking off with northern style instrumental stomper Night Man and closing with torch song Joy. All three previous 45 singles are featured – the uptempo shing-a-ling-friendly 60s R&B of Downtown Baby (to which Night Man was the B-side), the similar vibe of 2018’s Crossroads Of Love (along with it’s flip – another torch song, Tell Me One More Time and recent modern classic northern stomper Dance My Hurt Away with its funk-tinged northern B-side Crying Clown. Of the remainder, Town I Live In is another contemporary northern stomper, So Low is a lilting sax-heavy dancer, (Let’s Break The Curfew) is straight up Hammond funk and the poignant Get It Over is another torch song and the best of the three with its sing-a-long chorus. This one is definitely going to place in the monkey’s top ten LPs of 2023.
(Out now on Légère Recordings)