Bobby Wayne
"Soul Station "
Bonedog Records

Soul In Control, (07/02/08)

Blueswax Rating 7
Reader Rating 6

Pittsburgh's vocalist Bobby Wayne has been on the scene for quite some time and his experience shows as he fits in with many of today's best Soul singers. Wayne's most recent CD, Soul Station on the Bonedog Records label, is co-produced by bassist Mike Sweeney, and recorded and co-produced by the Mojo Boneyard. Sweeney authors half of the fourteen tunes included on this surprisingly high-quality disc. The horn arrangements of trumpeter Dan Donahoe and multi-reed player Robbie Klein are of the loftiest magnitude, which elevates Soul Station's overall sound and keen production value.

A little history on Mr. Wayne: Soul Station is his third release on the Bonedog Records label. Wayne has been Soul singing around Pittsburgh for nearly forty years. In 1969 Wayne recorded for the renowned Atlantic Records under his real name, Wayne Boyskin, which produced the forty-five single "Heart Of A Poor Man" with the flipside "Make Me Yours." During the 1980s and '90s Wayne worked with a band known as the Marcels, but it wasn't till 1999 that he had his first full-length recording credited to his stage name, Bobby Wayne. That was the appropriately titled Long Hard Road, which was followed by Hit That Thing, all on his current label Bonedog Records. Once again it's another Mike Sweeney contribution, "East End Avenue," which is an instant Soul classic! So much so that had this song been released in the 1970s on a well-distributed label I am certain this track would have run up the charts at Billboard magazine and would have received a lot of airplay on the good old AM and FM dials. "East End Avenue" is an exquisite gem that is perfectly executed by this ultra-sharp group of musicians, plus let us not forget Bobby Wayne's outstanding sense of timing with his superb, right-on vocals. If there is one knock on Soul Station it's that the material mildly wears at you when listening to this CD from beginning to end as some tunes sound a bit dated. But perhaps I am being too picky as, make no doubt about it, there are many excellent original tunes included here and Wayne is a high-quality vocalist and the band fires on all cylinders!

In closing; if Bobby Wayne and his bandmates came to my town to perform, I'd be there in a heartbeat, as I bet this band kicks butt, takes no prisoners, and would have the crowd moving and grooving all night long. See you there!

Bob Putignano: