John Németh Channels Memphis Soul in “Sooner or Later”


For a regular guy from Idaho, John Németh sure has a surprising lock on the classic Memphis soul sound. With tight horns and street-smart lyrics, “Sooner or Later” is a like a crystal-clear window back in time.

After trying out life in Oakland, Calif., and paying the bills as a truck driver, Németh packed up his family and moved to Memphis to follow his dreams as a singer-songwriter. After proving his bona fides in the historic city, he recorded the album Memphis Grease with veteran backing group the Bo-Keys and seasoned producer Scott Bomar. He’ll celebrate the March 25 release with the first of three nights at Seattle’s Jazz Alley.

Here’s what Németh told Esquire magazine about “Sooner or Later,” a stand-out track on the new album:

“After having a conversation with an Oakland postal clerk about the risks people take, the line ‘Sooner or later you learn’ came up. I walked home and had the melody and lyrics almost completely written by the time I got there. Interestingly, this is the same progression as the song ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ but the melody and tempo are completely different. Scott Bomar convinced me to do a harmonica solo, which gives it a ‘60s pop-friendly vibe. By the way, that postal clerk told me she used to wait on Irma Thomas at that very same post office in the early ’70s.”

Let Németh surround you in the warm sounds of Memphis soul for the CMT Edge video premiere of “Sooner or Later.”