Soon as I Get Paid

If James Taylor and Phil Collins picked up any extra soulfulness in recent years, they probably got it from Arnold McCuller. A longtime back-up singer for these and other pop giants, McCuller plays smooth bluesman on Soon as I Get Paid, a collection of covers and originals. His own “Gods and Monsters” is the standout—a song about a voodoo guitarist casting spells at an after-hours juke joint. McCuller may admire that type of gritty performer, but he knows his own strengths lie in other areas. Singing atop the whirring organ of the title song or soft sax of “There Is Something on Your Mind,” he’s sweet and dignified, a sideman deserving of the spotlight.

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