Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tom Craig And Soul Patch: “Get Ready For Me” (2016) CD Review

Tom Craig And Soul Patch are an east coast band, playing good blues and soul music, led by Tom Craig on vocals and guitar. Get Ready For Me, which was released late last year, features all original music written by Tom Craig. The band consists of John O’Connell on drums, Rando Branning on bass, Eric Johnson on keys, Vince Gleason on tenor saxophone, Mark Gallagher on baritone saxophone, Skyler Hagner on baritone saxophone, Dan Young on alto sax, and Sean McCusker on trombone. On certain tracks, Dave Gross joins on bass and backing vocals, and Mikey Junior plays harmonica and contributes backing vocals.

The album opens with a seriously cool and catchy tune titled “Louita.” What initially made me really dig this tune is the work on horns, particularly that bit where each horn player responds in turn after Tom sings, “Louita.” Each time it happens, I am just completely delighted, and I think you will be too. Check out this song when you get the chance. “Well, early in the morning until supper time/Got this feeling deep down, can’t help but pay it mind/Got to have some of what you’re serving up/Satisfy my hunger with your lovin’ stuff.” Oh yes, seems the best way to spend a day. This song has a classic rhythm and blues feel which is wonderful. “Louita” is followed by “How Did I Break The Rules,” with more nice touches on horn. This is an easygoing, groovy blues number, a perfect summer blues tune, so pop it on while the weather is still warm. It has that innocence, heard in these opening lines: “Did you lie to me, baby, when you told me that you liked my moves/Were you for real when you said that you thought that we’d really groove/You said to take it slow, we got nowhere to rush off to/Come on, baby, tell me how did I break the rules?” I really like John O’Connell’s playing on this track. Dave Gross plays bass on these two opening tracks.

“Get Ready For Me,” the album’s title track, has a kind of slower, heavier groove, with a bit of funk to the playing. More good drumming by John O’Connell and some nice work on organ by Eric Johnson make this one worth paying attention to. But it is Tom Craig’s bluesy lead on guitar halfway through that stands out. That’s followed by one of my personal favorites, “Can’t Stop Thinking About You.” This is a track that I can’t help but love immediately, with its delicious, playful and catchy groove. Plus, Mikey Jr. plays harmonica on this track, delivering some wonderful stuff. This song also features what is probably my favorite vocal performance by Tom Craig. “I’m having one of those days/With everything going wrong/Every day has been like this/Since you’ve been gone/And I’m sad, lonely and blue/And I just can’t stop thinking about you.”  Then in “She Did It To Me (She’ll Do It To You),” there is an excellent section when the organ leads, and the horns help keep that good groove going.

“Ballroom Dancer” has a classic Sam Cooke-type feel, which I always love. But its first line caught me off guard, with its use of the word “flip flops.” Is this the only rhythm and blues song to make use of that word? I think so. At least, I can’t think of another one offhand. “Couldn’t even finish my beer” is one of the saddest lines I’ve heard. I am fortunate to have never suffered that particular trouble. “Please Forgive Me Baby” also has a classic vibe, and features some wonderful work on guitar. “Don’t know why I do the things I do/No matter how hard I try, I just keep on disappointing you.” And I love Tom Craig’s delivery on these lines: “I’ll give you anything that you want/Baby, please give me what I need/I’ll even spill some blood for you, baby/Just tell me who needs to bleed.” Fantastic!

Both Dave Gross and Mikey Jr. join the band again on “I Can’t Help Myself,” and their backing vocals echoing “I can’t help myself” add a great deal of fun to this tune about a man with a certain weakness for women. And I love that sax (hey, is there just a bit of a nod to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue,” or is that just me?). Tom Craig delivers more fun with “Nothing That A Man Can’t Do,” a playful, innocent, fast-paced tune. The album then concludes with “Every Woman,” a sweet love song. “You wouldn’t want her to cry/When you hang up the telephone/You don’t want her to be lonely/When you have to leave her alone/Gotta tell her how you feel/Let her know she’s your whole wide world/Because inside every woman resides a little girl.”

CD Track List
  1. Louita
  2. How Did I Break The Rules
  3. Get Ready For Me
  4. Can’t Stop Thinking About You
  5. She Did It To Me (She’ll Do It To You)
  6. Ballroom Dancer
  7. Captain Funk
  8. Please Forgive Me Baby
  9. Tornado
  10. I Can’t Help Myself
  11. Nothing That A Man Can’t Do
  12. Every Woman
Get Ready For Me was released on December 28, 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment