Soulsville is the ninth studio album from Huey Lewis and the News and the band's first since Plan B in 2001. The album was released on October 18, 2010, in the United Kingdom and Europe and November 2, 2010, in the United States. The album, a tribute to the artists and music of Stax Records, was the brainchild of the band's manager, Bob Brown. As lead singer Huey Lewis explained, "the public isn't clamouring for new Huey Lewis & the News material". Brown and the band thought an album of Stax covers could be their "last shot at getting something out there that can get a rise out of anybody", while also bringing new exposure to the deep Stax catalog.
Lewis and the News recorded Soulsville at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, in early 2010. One of the original Stax co-engineers, Jim Gaines, who also engineered the band's best-selling albums, Sports and Fore!, produced the album with the band.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic writes "what makes the album successful is that Huey Lewis & the News don't choose the obvious tunes", citing that their love for the music is infectious and the album "winds up like a bunch of old friends having fun revisiting their favorite tunes." Rick Moore of American Songwriter also praises the selection of "songs that are a little more obscure", calling it "a solid collection of 14 tunes from the Stax/Volt heyday" and a nice homage by the News. J. Matthew Cobb of SoulTracks thinks the song selections are a perfect fit for Lewis's voice and show how rich and vast the Stax catalog is, calling the album "one of the most aesthetically sound cover albums of 2010". Jason Heller of The A.V. Club completely disagrees by claiming Soulsville doesn't have soul and only a few of the songs rise "above the level of really good karaoke." He rips Lewis' renditions of Solomon Burke's (who died shortly before the album was released) "Got to Get You Off My Mind" and "Cry to Me", describing it as "a pathetic epitaph for the late King of Rock & Soul."
The album cover was designed by Memphis folk artist Lamar Sorrento. It presents a caricature of a Memphis street corner, complete with musicians, rib joints, and WDIA, the country's first black radio station.
Dorothy Morrison – vocal duet on "Respect Yourself"
Rick Steff – piano on "Don't Fight It", "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You"
John Gove – trombone on "Respect Yourself" and "Got to Get You Off My Mind"
Bertram Brown, Jackie Johnson, and Reba Russell – backing vocals on "Don't Fight It", "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You", "Got to Get You Off My Mind", "Little Sally Walker", and "Never Like This Before"
Larry Batiste, Niko Ellison, and Cleytoven Richardson – backing vocals on "Never Found a Girl", "Just the One (I've Been Looking For)", "Cry to Me", and "I Want To (Do Everything for You)"
Daunielle "Pie" Hill, Jackie Johnson, and Reba Russell - backing vocals on "Free" and "Respect Yourself"
Bryan Dyer – backing vocals on "Cry to Me", "I Want To (Do Everything for You)"