Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys[CD]
'AAVP have got chops, an essential component to any outfit looking to rhythmically arrest it's listeners. There is no weak link among The Vintage Playboys. Every player can steal the show individually, and periodically does; but the strength of The Vintage Playboys is their ability to discreetly and seamlessly find their place within the groove, creating an aurally gripping backing track over which Akina floats her vocal melodies. Unlike other soul singers, who are known to let loose on their own vocal chords and our eardrums, Adderley's vocal style is more restrained; instead of distinguishing herself as the overwhelming frontwoman, she (like The Vintage Playboys behind her) submits to the greater product. Album opener 'I'm Gone' wastes no time, establishing the band's ethos clearly, convincingly, and immediately: hopping bassline, wah-wah rhythm guitar, and effortless horn flourishes add up to a funkiness so well arranged that you hardly think of the arrangement at all. 'The Way to Love Me' would not have been out of place in the late sixties Motown catalogue if not for it's modernly clean production style. 'Anyone But You' and 'Venom Like Wine' seethe with vitriol, showing that AAVP understand and can pull off the darker side of soul music's catharsis. If these four tracks are any indication of the rest of their debut album, then soul-funk aficionados will be adding another solid album to their collections.' By Evan Butts, THE RAPT MAGAZINE 'This smooth operation of eight or so fronted by the bright pipes of Akina Adderley is just what Austin needs in times of musical woe. The group's sound jostles back and forth between the throw your hands up and "shake it like a tambourine" tunes with enthusiastic bursts from the horn section and warm and sultry numbers as slick as silk and sweet like honey drips. "Venom Like Wine" is one of the more woeful and emotionally poisonous songs on AAVP's self-titled debut released in late March of this year. A somber horn section bellows alongside aching keys and Akina's pleading vocals thick with feeling. "I'm Gone" is the opening track from the same album, and it starts things off with a bang. It's spirited, upbeat and affirming with plenty of old school sass and an irresistible chorus to boot.' By By William Mills, AUSTINIST.
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