The Bo-Keys

The Royal Sessions

Yellow Dog Records YDR 1061


Ronnie Williams, organ; Willie Hall, drums; Charles "Skip" Pitts, guitar; Marc

Franklin, trumpet; Jim Spake, saxophones; Hector Diaz, percussion; and Scott Bomar, bass

This CD was recorded at the renowned Royal Studio in Memphis operated by Willie Mitchell who is affectionately referred to as Poppa Willie by the musicians.

The first cut features the groovy organ of Ronnie Williams on the tune "Coming Home Baby" and Jim Spake and Marc Franklin lending a hand with some great horn work. "Deuce And A Quarter" has a catchy vocalize reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf and this is greasy soul to the max. "Under The Table" resonates with the wah-wah guitar sounds of Charles "Skip" Pitts on this tasty mid-tempo rhythm and blues exercise. The tune "Back Down At The Chicken Shack" is delightful with vocalize in the background on this soulfully bluesy rendition. The tune "Doin' It To Death" is a version of James Brown's "Funky Good Time" and funky it is! "I Remember Stax" is a nostalgic departure which almost brings tears to the eye in a delicious melancholy rendering. "My Country Loves Me" is a soul hip-hop vocalize exercise which is catchy and demonstrates this swinging groupís impeccable musical cohesion.

This aggregation of session players captures the Memphis soul sound in a fresh contemporary way that will have you dancing--perfect for a party. There are ten cuts on this CD and I would call them a perfect 10!

by Dorothy Hill

Jazz Now Interactive June 2004 Vol 14 No. 2 - Table of Contents

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