All right! So, I saw Marcellus Hall and the Hostages last Friday night at Union Hall and, at the risk of sounding too cute, the band held me hostage for their entire set. Yeah, too cute. Of course, I was a already a fan of both Mr. Hall's previous incarnations, Railroad Jerk and White Hassle. Those bands embraced a more punk blues vibe. His new work has dropped the punk and added more soul with a greater hint of southern gothic. A sort of "neo-soul" in the spirit of Bon Iver, M. Ward and Langhorne Slim. The energy and soul Marcellus Hall brings to all his music is entertaining and inspiring. Until recently, he had been performing solo and I believe most of the songs are born out of that period. However, by abandoning his solo politic and adding a band, the Hostages, it seems he has added a more rocking and uptempo sound to what are a very smart and sweet collection of songs ("Some people like to stick to their own kind, but love is elusive and blind." Broken Phone, or, "Well your the only one in this world that I adore and I'm always laughing with you, I'm not laughing at you anymore." Laughing With You). Marcellus mentioned he's going to record with the Hostages soon. I can't wait. And, I hope it means they'll be playing out in New York more soon. You will not be disappointed. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Hall is a very fine illustrator with a few New Yorker covers under his belt. Check that work out too. Like his music, it is entertaining and inspiring.