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Matt Stansberry brightens up his sound

“Let's Brighten It Up” took Matt Stansberry's already soulful vocal style and put it in a new-old context. Stansberry and the Romance will be part of the first day of music at the Charlie Christian Music Festival, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
BY GEORGE LANG Modified: June 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm •  Published: June 7, 2013

“I've heard several people say that this is really brave or bold or something,” Stansberry said. “And I'm always like, ‘That didn't at all cross my mind.' That's a cool compliment, but I think it's a little stronger than I deserve.”

That humility in the face of strong praise for “Let's Brighten It Up” is there because the whole project came together organically, Stansberry said, not as part of a master plan.

But it did change the direction of his sound for the foreseeable future and put Stansberry on the radar for neo-soul's burgeoning fan base. Last month, Stansberry and the Romance opened for the buzzy Los Angeles hard-soul band Vintage Trouble in Tulsa, and they have full slate of performances scheduled through the summer.

And while he's sticking with classic soul, Stansberry will be evolving that sound on the next record. “Let's Brighten It Up” featured prominent 1950s R&B textures, but the follow-up will rip a few pages off the calendar.

“This one will be a little more '60s Motown,” he said. “More soulful.”