It’s a soulful syncopated groove. Track by track, Quinn DeVeaux is piercing into the spirit of soul’s past. It would be easy to compare DeVeaux to the stir and deliverance of Sam Cooke or Al Green, but what the Indiana native has curated is something far more expansive in its slow dripping R & B, roots, classic rock, and immutable soul. Partly a love letter to soul and its pioneers, Book of Soul isn’t a mere homage to the greats. It’s their infusion into his musical soul, personal retrospect, and ultimately a regeneration of soul’s spirits past.
“My feelings for Sly [Stone], Al Green, Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, The Neville Brothers, and countless others comes up, and I’m like ‘how can I incorporate as much of this into one song or one record?’” DeVeaux tells American Songwriter. “Nowadays, having access to all recorded history makes it so I’m trying to pull from many disparate places and sometimes I have to say ‘okay, for this song let’s stick to only four of my favorite influences,’ and of I gotta get a lot of myself in there too.”
It’s all relative. Book of Soul is an aggregation of DeVeaux’s influences in soul, roots, and R & B but also taps into his own personal stories. To make sure he was equally present on the album, he limited himself to listening to Al Green for a week, and others like Johnny Cash and Creedence Clearwater Revival for a weekend.