Top-10 finalist in the 2007 International Blues Foundation's competition for Best Self-Produced Blues CD.
This hard-swinging blues from Des Moines, Iowa, plays more than 100 dates a year throughout Iowa and neighboring towns like Omaha and Minneapolis. With harmonica, upright bass, guitar and drums, the band plays originals and lesser-known music by the likes of Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Lazy Lester. Members of The Soul Searchers have shared the stage with the likes of Pinetop Perkins, RJ Mischo and Curtis Salgado. The band has won the Iowa Blues Challenge and has appeared on the mainstage at the renowned Mississippi Valley Blues Festival. After 15 years of playing together, this is the band's long-awaited debut CD.
A review Bob Putignano, contributing editor at Blueswax:
I don't know if this is the Soul Searchers debut recording as their website shows no previous records, yet it does state that this quartet from Iowa has been around since the early 1990s. No matter, this quartet offers a noteworthy album with their self-titled release.
The production value is tight and the acoustics are quite dynamic, as this is a very well recorded and warm-sounding disc. The Soul Searchers mix a smooth blend of Jazz and Blues and are a talented crew that writes a good amount of their own material, as well as covering the likes of Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, and James Cotton.
It is apparent from the opening tune, "Nobody But You," that the Soul Searchers are a veteran group of players who roll along slickly and confidently from track to track. These Searchers are not a high-energy unit, but they have a neat groove that flows freely, either on their own material or on the previously mentioned classic covers, especially on James Cotton's "Straighten Up, Baby," which is one of the highlights from this independent group.
The knocks I have stem from the fact that many of the tunes have a very similar feeling, so much so that from time to time it's hard to tell one track from another. Plus, don't confuse their band name as being any kind of classic Soul-based act, as there is nothing contained on this recording that would hint at anything that would come from the origins of Malaco, Stax, or Motown, thus making their "Soul" band name very misleading.
Nonetheless there is nothing on this well crafted recording that will make you cringe, nor is there anything here that will make you say, "Wow." The sound on this disc has a sweet glow and the digi-pack packaging is first rate, showing that these cool dudes from Des Moines have a lot of style and class, as this is a very professional and complete product. In summary, the Soul Searchers are one fine unit and one only can hope for their future recordings to evolve.
A review of the CD by Tom Gary, blues historian:
"One of the great blues bands of Des Moines has a new disc out of retro cool blues. The Soul Searchers self titled CD has all of the cool of the great jump blues bands of the 1950s. Led by Scott Eggleston on Guitar and Malcolm Wells on Vocals and Harp, the Soul Searchers are without a doubt at their coolest on this recording. There is not a bad song on this disc. The Soul Searchers quietly lure you in with Nobody But You, and don't let go until the last song Here I Am. These guys have created and nurtured this sound since the early 90s, and like a fine wine they have only gotten better. In the early days Malcolm was only the harp player. However, once he started to sing the band truly started to grove. Malcolm has that hipster cool down pat, and he can blow a harp with the best of them. Eggleston on guitar is a master of tone, and always plays with taste. The rhythm section of Erich Gaukel(Bass) and Mark Grimm(Drums) keep the band moving like clock work. I have been listening to this disc a lot, and I have Dimestore Detective running on my Internet radio station. This is a disc that the hardcore blues fan will love. Classic blues done right with passion and love."
A review of the CD by blues writer Michael Swanger, the editor of Cityview:
"Whether itâ€™s a five-course meal, or a romantic interlude, or sultry blues, anticipation is what stimulates the senses and makes the payoff rewarding. Such is the case with Des Moinesâ€™ hippest blues band, The Soul Searchers. It took the group about 15 years to record its full-length album, but in the end, it doesnâ€™t disappoint. Like their live shows, â€œThe Soul Searchersâ€ is a slow burn that gets hotter as the music progresses. From Malcolm Wellsâ€™ velvety vocals and harmonica work on â€œGentlemanâ€™s Bet,â€ to Scott Egglestonâ€™s full-bodied guitar work on the Freddy King-inspired instrumental â€œThe Ramblerâ€ and his stylish cover of â€œYouâ€™re the One,â€ to the swinging rhythms of bassist Erich Gaukel and drummer Mark Grimm on â€œCall My Nameâ€ and â€œHere I Am,â€ this album was worth the wait."