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The Dynamites/Charles Walker


Release Date: 07/18/2008
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Price: $12.99

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Price: $9.99

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Old-school shouter Charles Walker joins the established eight-piece Nashville based Dynamites and the union is a match made in hard funk heaven. The band is led by guitarist/producer/arranger Leo Black, who also wrote all but one of the songs on this rousing debut. But it's the ghost of James Brown that hangs heavy over this music and if you erase Walker's vocals, it's easy to hear the early Brown influence in these greasy slices of stripped down, gritty funk. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable, though, since so few bands in 2007 are creating music like this. The three-piece horn section is tighter than Brown's slacks after a meal and is the most striking aspect here. But these tracks are arranged so that each instrument fits seamlessly into the whole, leaving room for Walker's growling, testifying vocals to supercharge the proceedings. It's likely that if these songs were played on the radio, any soul lover would peg them as lost oldies recorded in the late '60s. The majority of the disc stays on high boil as the horns spar with Walker and the band. The gospel-laced RB ballad "Dig Deeper" and the slow boil swamp of "Way Down South" show the group's depth and provide relief from the otherwise non-stop volley of crushing soul. Walker, who has been slogging it out in the RB trenches without much to show for it since the '50s, is in fabulous voice throughout, tugging, tearing and ripping into this material like a ravenous shark chowing down on raw meat. Drummer Derrek Phillips also stands out as his tough beats bind these songs, hammering down the groove. But it's Black's songs, and especially the arrangements, that draw the listener into this den of tough funk where there is no way out. It's a terrific debut for this combo who might just provide Walker with his highest visibility ever. It's never too late to appreciate someone with vocal talents this extraordinary and here's hoping this is the start of more albums that work off this durable, retro-styled soul vibe. ~ Hal Horowitz, Rovi

  • Format: CD
  • Release Date: 07/18/2008
  • Record Label: Thirty Tigers
  • UPC: 775020795327
  • Product ID: 2684379
  • Genre: Deep Funk Revival, Funk

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