Hammond organs, skintight drumming, slinky bass and guitar lines, steaming brass stabs, and a slew of excellent guest vocalists are the percolating brew whipped up on Cookin’ On 3 Burners’ 6th outing.
A series of 11 no-nonsense snapshots of Stax styled soul and funk, Blind Bet is an exuberant, exciting recording that evokes the sounds of those hallowed studios like Muscle Shoals, where the instruments breathe and the musicians click.
Divided almost equally between instrumentals and songs featuring vocal performances from Tex Perkins, Daniel Merriweather and Kylie Auldist, among others, the balance between styles and grooves can appear a bit schizophrenic at times (Last Man Standing tries to be soulful but is a real comedown after the preceding sizzler of a title track), but overall the musical palette is colourful enough to smooth out the slight falterings.
A tip of the hat goes to Ross Irwin who put together the string and horn arrangements, all of which are quite outstanding, particularly the cinematic strings on The Spanish Job and The Vanished.
Bookended by a track that could have snuck in unnoticed on a Booker T and the MGs album (Skeletor) and a piece that would suit the closing credits of a detective mystery (Of Dice And Men), Blind Bet possesses an effortless ease and comfort with the genres traversed, simmering to just below boiling point throughout.
No grand statements here - just a group of fine musicians doing what they enjoy.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.