Friday, 27 December 2013

Goodness and Mercy [1970]

Not Psalms 23:6, But Righteous All The Same

This is an outstanding brassrock album, holding its own musically with Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago, but not in terms of popularity. That musical match to the two mentioned and most famous horn bands isn’t, admittedly, in the songwriting department, but in performance there is an exuberance and jazzrock sensibility, including strong vocal in Dave Talisman, that competes well if you like the genre. This is best reflected in third track You Can’t Make Me Love You where the fuzzed guitar and stabbing horn arrangements swirl around the growl of Talisman. Fourth Dirty Annie is a fine BS&T clone, homage to their musically righteous soul/gospel sound. Fifth Hello LA/Bye Bye Birmingham is a solid soulful version of this Bramlett/Davis number and forms a neat trio of strong performances. Sixth Bring Back Funky Women provides space for solos from Jerry Grant on sax and, more fully, Harry Kim on trumpet. There’s a requisite whimsy in seventh Thousand Pound Woman, and eighth Make It Easy On Yourself foregrounds Talisman’s great growl again, with the organ peal of Peter Martin and the rouse of more jazzy horn arrangements. The album closes at its most psychedelic with The Circus Man and its fuzzed guitar solo by John Trombatore, the whole number wrapped in percussion.

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