Rock Candy Funk Party - 'The Groove Cubed'

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Rock Candy Funk Party - 'The Groove Cubed'

You like Funk? Queue up here. You like Rock? Come on in. You like great players? Pull up a chair.

Everyone needs a hobby, but this is a bit different to collecting bus numbers or throwing pots, this satisfies Joe Bonamassa's "funky thide" (as Billy Cobham said), something that's necessary when you're the saviour of the Blues. To scratch that itch, he came together with excellent New York session men to give those longings free rein, producing two albums and a gorgeously packaged live offering.

What Rock Candy Funk Party have done this time is combine the most fun stuff they've ever done with the most accessible stuff. As a result, we get tracks like 'Mr Funkadamus Returns And He Is Mad', and the squelches and Led Zeppelin-isms of 'Two Guys And Stanley Kubrick Walk Into A Jazz Club', and the fifties-influenced and jazzy closer 'Ping Pong'.

Hang on though, isn't that Vintage Trouble's Ty Taylor attacking 'Don't Even Try It'? Yes, indeed it is, and this lead-off track has Soul to spare with Trouble Funk asking for their sound back. Just a minute, here's Mahalia Barnes syruping all over the pulsing dance floor diva that is 'I Got The Feelin'' – the James Brown song. These are the first Rock Candy Funk Party songs with vocals and perhaps show where they're going, but broadening out that sound isn't a cop out, this band never aspired to a cool quotient.

They just are, through their excellent playing. Bonamassa makes a nice show of his work, but without Ron De Jesus to back him up, it just wouldn't work as well. It also wouldn't be the album it is if Renato Neto hadn't been given time to show us just what he can do on those electric keys, or without Mike Merritt driving that elastic bass.
Slight warning, this album is different to what we've heard before. That's actually a delightful declaration because the difference is why it's brilliant. Their love of the music has always been apparent, here you can also hear the enjoyment too.

You like Funk? Queue up here. You like Rock? Come on in. You like great players? Pull up a chair. This is the best thing Rock Candy Funk Party have ever done, including their previous brilliance. Groove cubed? More like groove to infinity!

Steve Swift

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