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Friday, August 22, 2014

Cuts Music Group artist: Woody Russell - Delicious Days - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Delicious Days, from Woody Russell and it's quite good! Opening with Light Like That I think how smooth this guy is. With a Todd Rundgren like voice and Philly style of music, this is very strong. Russell, who plays guitar and sings, is joined by Bryce Powell (keys), Brady Muckelroy (bass), Chris Hausler (drums), Jose Ruiz (harmonica) and Dez Desormeaux (sax). In The Open has a looser less Philly but still soulful feel with an open rhythm. Hausler leads the way with crisp drumming and Ruiz adds a nice harp solo but this is all about the silky style of Russell as a vocalist. Just Playing Along has a really nice groove (think Low Down)and Russell knows how to work it. With it's light jazzy feel and Russell's vocals all you need are some spanking guitar riffs and they are here too! Powell lays in a sparkling electric piano solo giving the track even more interest and Dez hits the note on sax. Very nice! Genuine Good has a more composed feel with layered vocals and an irregular rhythm pattern. Near Miss has a distinctive jazzy pop feel but with a super vocal track. I genuinely like Russell's vocal sound and attack. It is not my standard fare but nothing is. With just a touch of funk and tight instrumentals this is a nice addition to the release. Steady On puts me more in thought of recent Steely Dan with warm vocal backing giving it real depth. Muckelroy drives the bass on this track and really hot drums from Hausler make this track even more interesting. Enough Is As Good As A Feast is a bit more solemn and beautifully composed. I want to fall back to Rundgren as an example because I personally believe that he composed some of the most haunting melodies of our generation. This track has that plus a certain sophistication of Mark/Almond. A real nice sax solo from Dez ices this track. Excellent! At The Very Least is a simple pop ballad with particularly nice guitar synth and sax components... but this is really all about the composition and the voice. Very nice! Next Move has a cool light feel with that funky, moody edge. Ruiz adds nicely with his harmonica work and tight rhythm is particularly effective. You Should See It From Here has so much pop potential that I could see it as a television theme song. Bursts of guitar intensity breaks a primarily vocal melody. Wrapping the release is title track, Delicious Days. A serious ballad with smooth vocals, dabs of piano and sax texture and light percussion make this a very nice finish to a very cool release.  

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