I just received a new release, Deal with it, from the 4 Jacks and it's a killer! With an allstar cast of Anson Funderburgh, Big Joe Maher, Kevin McKendree and Steve Mackey this is a band of bands. The title track, Deal With It is the opener and has that Stax sound with a round, plucky lead guitar melody and keyboard soloing with the solid bottom on an instrumental that is instantaneously cool as cool gets. Funderburgh plays a real nice lead solo and shows that taste that he is so well know for. Great opener! Have Ourselves a Time is a hot swingin blues featuring Big Joe on vocals. Mackey drives this track on bass and Funderburgh sets down a real nice groove on this track as well. I Don't Want To Be President brings out the Albert King funky blues style and prolific lyrics don't get lost behind the magic. She Ain't Worth A Dime is a classic 12 bar with each player contributing some smoke here. McKendree lays down some particularly hot piano licks on this track. Love's Like That is a real smokey track with tom tom drum beat as rhythm and Funderburgh blistering the paint as punctuation under the smooth vocals of Maher. Bobcat Woman is a great Texas loper and Funderburgh throws down some great guitar phrases on this track. I remember the first time I saw Funderburgh was on the Sanborn show on TV and I was an instant fan. I saw him a few years later (possibly I'll share a photo of us sometime) and I remember asking him to step forward and play more. Funny ... me telling AF that he should step up and play more. He probably thought I was some kind of hick. This is really tastefully done and well balanced with heat all around. Your Turn To Cry is a real slow blues just simmering and waiting to burst into flames. The vocal placement in the mix is particularly cool. I'm not a recording expert but it is just forward of the band, and it sounds great. Funderburgh plays some of his most inspired riffs on the cd and I'm really diggin it! Thunder And Lightning is a fast paced track along the lines of Big Boss Man or Howlin For My Darlin and the band hits it right on the screws. Texas Twister is a great honky tonk style track with Funderburgh taking the lead and McKendree playing some great keys under the top with solid bass and drums from Maher and Mackey all through. This is style! Ansonmypants is a boogie track with some comedic lines to open leading into a full out rocker. These off beat tracks are killer! Funderburgh takes this one deep and T-Bone is taking notice! The band sounds great! Bad News Baby is another slow number with great keys intro and vocal call and guitar response... I mean...who won't love this! It's good that the band held this track off until late in the release because it will be hard to top it. Mackey keeping a nice simple walking bass line going and a low mix on great key work by Mckendree...just simple rim shots from Maher, this is terrific! Ok... for the closer. Painkiller has a simple guitar/bass riff over a simple electric organ track slowly letting the cat out of the bag. MacKendree really shines on this track and Funderburgh steps forward and takes a few really nice solos of his own. This is a great funky instrumental strut and a great conclusion to a great release.
By the way...straight to the best of 2013 candidates!!
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You know I hate putting up a review without a video. This one isn't off of the release but a suitable track to get a flavor of the band if you are not familiar with the players.