Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Grey and his companions out of Florida
have been pulling Southern funk, Memphis soul and dirty blues
together for the best part of a decade now and their 07 Country
Ghetto album should have gained them a lot of mainstream
attention. But it didn't.
This one – with guest vocalist Toots
(of the Maytals), and hot young blues guitarist Derek Trucks laying
sweet and spooky slide on the closer Lullaby --- doesn't quite
have the same upward trajectory and the material isn't as affecting.
The opener Diyo Dayo shaves off
a slice of old Dr John funk but almost immediately things slow down
the acoustic ballad King Hummingbird which, although soulful,
at seven minutes hobbles the energy established.
After that it is patchy: Grey and Toots
are excellent foils on the horn-backed Sweetest Thing; fans of
early Joe Cocker will delight in the aching ballad Gotta Know
and Beautiful World.
But material like All – which
you know would be a killer live – hits a relentless soul-belter
middle ground, as does the slide'n'harmonica title track and Hide
and Seek, and only in the closing overs does the soul-momentum
pick up with The Hottest Spot in Hell
and, surprising, with the increasingly rowdy Lullaby.
We might have to wait for the live
album or, better, a live showing.