I got the new(ish) Greg Graffin CD today.
There are few punks whose voices could be said to have soul, and among them Graffin is at the top of the list. (If you don't believe me check out "Sorrow" from the 2002 Bad Religion release The Process of Belief.) He's also an interesting character in that he eshewed the stereotypical nihilistic, self destructive drug and drink addled punk lifestyle to study anthropology, biology, paleontology and zoology. He received his PhD from Cornell University.
This year he recorded a very un-punk solo record called Cold as the Clay. It is a collection of traditional songs and new tunes drawn from the deep well of his childhood growing up in the rural midwest of the United States.
First impressions: The first song might be the weakest of the bunch. As the album unfolds the signature soulful scratch of his voice surfaces and grabs you. The backing band are great, amazing guitar, banjo, slide and drum stuff.