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Concrete Blues
     

Concrete Blues

by The Revelations
 
For a retro-soul influenced band trekking from Brooklyn down to Memphis, arguably the hub of rootsy Southern R&B, to record must have been a dream come true. For the Revelations, their sophomore effort was not only recorded at Willie Mitchell's famous Royal Studios, but Al Green/Hi

Overview

For a retro-soul influenced band trekking from Brooklyn down to Memphis, arguably the hub of rootsy Southern R&B, to record must have been a dream come true. For the Revelations, their sophomore effort was not only recorded at Willie Mitchell's famous Royal Studios, but Al Green/Hi Records session legends the Hodges brothers (Teeny on guitar and organist Charles) contributed their substantial talents. Members of the Bar-Kays and the Isaac Hayes Movement also guest, making this a contemporary soul recording with notable and authentic roots. It also helps that the Revelations are already a tight, tough unit who, with frontman/lead singer Tre Williams, keep a foothold in the past without sounding particularly old-school. The album is front loaded with sociopolitically based selections with the closing songs romantic/personal in tone and lyrical approach. So far, so good. Unfortunately the original tunes, while pleasant enough, tend to blend together musically by sticking to a similar tempo and musical template. They don't jump out of the mix with the urgency and immediacy of the classic music the band clearly loves. It's worth noting that the best tracks are the handful of covers, although thankfully obscure ones such as Ronnie Lovejoy's "Until You Get Enough of Me," with one (Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out") even repeated from the band's previous collection. Also, the sound is slicker than you'd expect from the group's influences and the recording location. And for all of his lover man vocalizing, Williams doesn't exude a particularly distinctive or riveting presence. Still, this is much better than the formulaic, cookie-cutter music masquerading as soul on the radio in the 2010s, and there are enough highlights -- such as Williams' lovely ballad "Lonely Room," the sweet and sour resentment of "How Could You Walk Away," and the lead guitar riffing in "Trouble Man" (not the Marvin Gaye tune) -- to leave hope that on future releases, the band composes, and perhaps more importantly arranges, material that's up to their impressive talents.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/08/2011
Label:
Nia
UPC:
0817358010229
catalogNumber:
2

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Revelations   Primary Artist
Gordon Chambers   Background Vocals
Charles Hodges   Organ
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges   Guitar
Lester Snell   Piano,Electric Piano
James Alexander   Bass
Josh Werner   Bass
John Caban   Guitar
Gintas Janusonis   Drums,Background Vocals
Vick Allen   Vocals,Background Vocals
Rick Parker   Trombone
Derek Nievergelt   Bass
Tarrah Reynolds   Violin,Viola
Geoff Countryman   Baritone Saxophone
Tre Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Stevie Jay   Guitar
Sumyia Dabney   Background Vocals
Borahm Lee   Keyboards
Wes Mingus   Guitar
Pablo Vergara   Keyboards
David Steinberg   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Ancowitz   Trumpet
Halley Hiatt   Background Vocals
Brian Thomas Griffin   Percussion
Rell Gaddis   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Paul Grosso   Layout
Bob Perry   Producer,Executive Producer
Vick Allen   Composer,Engineer
Arnold Mischkulnig   Engineer
Tre Williams   Composer
Wes Mingus   Composer
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell   Producer,Engineer
Russell Johnson   Executive Producer
George Littlejohn   Executive Producer

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