Daily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.
Among certain circles in the Pacific Northwest, the story of Ural Thomas is well told. The soul singer began his career in the 1950s, and never saw the acclaim found by performers like Otis Redding and James Brown. But, when drummer and bandleader Scott Magee discovered the elder statesman and built an ace musical foundation around him, Thomas quickly filled the role he was destined for decades prior.
Come December, Thomas and The Pain will be included on a 10-song compilation LP released by Portland-based label and music agency Marmoset. That album, Transference, includes new versions of century-old songs that have all made it to the public domain. Transference features a diverse group of musicians ranging from The Helio Sequence, Dear Nora and Bouquet, and Thomas’s booming vocals and retro soul sound are a perfect match for the concept.
“Hot Time in the Old Town,” the song Thomas and The Pain reinterpreted, was originally written in 1896. In the hands of The Pain, the song sounds completely modern, bolstered by its swinging rhythm and horns. As Thomas describes, “We took it down into a Memphis groove and sort of approached it like a Muscle Shoals sorta thing, strong beat, groovy bass, added horns and stuff.”
He continues, “It was a good time doing the new arrangement, it came together really quickly, and everyone’s ideas all seemed to work together. As it is with most things in The Pain, we had a blast!”
Check out “Hot Time in the Old Town” below. Transference will be available on limited edition vinyl on Dec. 1 via Marmoset.