Soulful Sounds and Scientific Minds: A Review of Sun King Rising’s “No. 6 Magnolia Avenue”

Southern soul is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many musicians, and it is not surprising that we are witnessing a revival of this genre in the 21st century. Today, we will take a closer look at Sun King Rising, a band formed by genetic scientist John Blangero, and their latest single, “No. 6 Magnolia Avenue.” Combining southern soul, blues, and rock, this record takes listeners on a deep dive into the roots of American music with a modern twist tailored for contemporary audiences.

Sun King Rising is a moniker that John Blangero chose to represent his musical alter ego. As a renowned scientist in his field, Blangero has always been passionate about music, playing in several bands since his teenage years. In 2020, when the global pandemic forced many to change their daily routines, Blangero decided to use his free time to focus on his lifelong passion for southern soul and rock music. Thus, Sun King Rising was born, and “No. 6 Magnolia Avenue” serves as a testament to the resilience of creative spirits in challenging times.

“Signs and Wonders,” the album from which “No. 6” comes, is a captivating 10-track album that showcases not only Blangero’s classic southern soul roots but also his innovative approach to songwriting and arrangement. By incorporating various musical genres, Sun King Rising creates a unique sound that honors the legacy of southern soul while offering a fresh perspective on this timeless music. This fusion of styles results in a compelling listening experience that will leave you humming the melodies long after the last notes have faded away.

Johns’ powerful vocals effortlessly capture the emotion and spirit of this timeless genre, evoking memories of soulful legends like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.

From the driving rhythms to the soaring guitar solos, “No. 6 Magnolia Avenue” showcases Blangero’s ability to seamlessly blend rock influences into the southern soul foundation, creating a fresh and exciting sound for modern listeners.

–CC Hairston