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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Apr 14th, 2015

True Groove All-Stars: Fully Re-Covered

true grooveTrue Groove All-STars
Fully Re-Covered
(True Groove)

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From a low-down, growly voice, organ bleeding, harmonica funky version of Elvis Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” passionately rendered by The Tomás Doncker Band to Kevin Jenkins chanting around the distorted guitar of a slinky, slight synth-burbing “Spirit In the Sky,” to the lead-off single reimagining of “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” featuring Marla Mase and James Chance, True Groove’s All-Stars 13-track Fully Re-Covered features covers of mid-1970s to early 1980 tunes.

You just have to love stuff this funky and effortless. The playing is so top-notch, it’s scary. It’s what you’d expect from the Tomás Doncker Band, the roster of True Groove musicians in general, as well as the singers here.

“Do What you Want, Be What You Are” features Lael Summer in a torchy, wild, electric piano plead around the Hall & Oates’ Philly, “white soul” killer. Summer rides the waves of the strong production behind her, making what I feel is the best tune here. I do like Samuel Claiborne talking through Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.” Along with what Johnny Cash did with this song (as well as Kermit the Frog), I think I like the covers better than the original tune. There are some fine flights of guitar spikes here as well.

It’s hard for me to get past any cover of Jimmy Webb’s classic “Wichita Lineman.” The piano here is as equally pretty as Kevin Jenkins’ vocals, as he updates what Glenn Campbell did on a superb song. This version is closer to Webb’s own than Campbell’s, actually.

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True Groove All-Stars: Fully Re-Covered