Friday, August 26, 2011

Some Diverse New Music - From Jazz to Funky Soul

We've recently received several new CDs and here's the lowdown. 

Its definitely time to get your boogie on when listening to T Bird and the Breaks - Never Get Out of This Funk Alive. This is one I'm dancing in my seat; whether driving, at work, at home; this is just a classic fun CD that exudes 70's soul and funk. Just listen to the title track or "Spread the Love". Plus, this is a 10-piece band - wait until you hear the sounds emanating from deep down in the tracks: percussion, keyboards, horns. And gotta love "Your Nasty Love".  Can't believe this sound comes out of Austin - forget about Americana - give me Funk.

Reed Turner got our attention with his new EP Side One: See How Far I Get. His songwriting immediately reminded me of Joe Pug, but he distinguishes himself through a unique finger picking style. His study at the Berklee College of Music has paid off, because this artist is talented. And this talent is immediately on display on the first track, "Beware the Hand". And "let's Roll" showcases some clever songwriting. And the last track, "Acrobats & Soldiers", is just powerful. I can't wait for Side 2.

At first listen, I didn't care for Big Trouble from The Dang-it Bobbys. But that opinion was a result of sitting in traffic for three hours trying to go 30 miles.  After multiple listens, I really came to appreciate the musicianship of this duo, Kris Bauman and guitarist Luca Benedetti. I think it started at "I Love You"; love the composition. Can't seem to categorize the sound, there's some Pop, some Bluegrass ("Whiskey Strut"), plenty of vocal harmony, and even a Tex-Mex sound in "Big Trouble". My favorites were the two instrumentals ("Roadkill Jerky" & "Whiskey Strut"), maybe because I'm not completely sold on the song writing - although the initial track, "Middle Ground", is clever. Yet, these are two to watch considering how nicely they can play their respective instruments.

Finally, I've been really digging the latest from the Joe Deninzon Trio, Exuberance. I listen to this during the work hours, and I tell you, the day flies by.  The trio consists of violinist Joe Deninzon, bassist Robert Bowen, and guitarist Stephen Benson. On occasion there's some gypsy jazz influence, but with Deninzon switching from electric to acoustic violin, also some classical and at times, americana-ish fiddling. In this CD, Bowen's bass plays a noticeable role whereas Benson's guitar sometimes lingers too silently. The guy can play - turn him up - just like the beginning of "Sun Goes Down". And listen to the end, "The Tourist" could be my favorite track.

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