Soul singer/songwriter Brian Owens is nearing the release of his new album Love Came Down, his first since 2017’s Soul of Cash, and in anticipation he has released not one, but two songs from the record – co-write Cool Water (Justice Runs Down Like), and a cover of a rare tune by Marvin Gaye, Sparrow.
Both feature his all-star band heavily, in particular jazz trumpet virtuoso and fellow St. Louisan Keyon Harrold, but also percussion ace Daniel Sadownick as well as Peter Martin, Jon Cowherd, Steve Potts, Sherrod Barnes and Stephan Crump, affectionately named The Royal Five.
Cool Water (Justice Runs Down Like) has this long intro, which makes like a Curtis Mayfield track, all percussion and strings before the brass hit their stride and it settles into this blaxploitation soundtrack. His vocal on the track has something of the Curtis about it as well, as he duets the verses out and it builds to this mighty peak. Sparrow is more circumspect, Harrolds muted trumpet giving it this after-midnight feel, as it shuffles and smooches its way through, once again Owens vocal being the star of the show.