THE MCKEE BROTHERS
ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN
MBE 2016 1
ONE OF US GOTS TA GO–CHANGE–GUARANTEED–A LITTLE BIT OF SOUL–ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN–A LONG WAY BACK HOME–CONNECTIONS–RIGHT THERE–QUALIFIED–SLIDE–DESPERATE SITUATION–MODERN FRAUD WOMAN–IT ALL WENT DOWN THE DRAIN–UP TO THE MOUNTAIN
As one listens to the McKee Brothers–Dennis and Ralph–and their strong core of musicians from Michigan and Los Angeles, you can hear a myriad of influences. The fourteen cuts that comprise “Enjoy It While You Can” draw from Brother Ray, James Brown, the classic Stax/Hi Memphis sound, Average White Band, George Clinton’s Mothership, Tower Of Power, and probably a bunch more. But, you get the picture–this is a stone party on a platter, with the emphasis on the songs and the danceable grooves throughout!
This one also comes at you like one of those old-school traveling R & B package shows popular in our youth, with several band members tackling the lead vocals. And, horn man Lee Thornburg, himself a member of that famed Tower Of Power horn section, keeps the arrangements fresh and hopping!
Vocalist Bob Schultz leads off with the story of a love affair going downhill in a hurry, ’cause “One Of Us Gots Ta Go!” Additional guitar here is from Eli Fletcher, and Bobby West on keys adds to Bob’s tale of a man who’s been around long enough to know that “nothin’ in this world is Guaranteed!” Larry McCray is on guitar and lead vocal on Dennis’ original, an invitation to “the funky side of town,” “A Little Bit Of Soul.” Bob’s vocal on Bobby West’s original, “A Long Way Back Home,” is a fine, slow, jazzy shot of soul with a nod to Ray Charles, and he hits a N’ Awlins groove on Mac Rebennack’s “Qualified,” with some mighty qualified slide from Stan Budzynski. The set closes on a gospel-fueled note, courtesy of the soaring vocals of Melissa McKee on Patti Griffin’s poignant “Up To The Mountain.”
This is a sweet set of tunes that shows you can’t deny the power of the groove. Dance your blues away to the McKee Brothers and “Enjoy It While You Can!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.