Thursday, 12 February 2009

Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band - Moving With The Shakers

This album is OUTSTANDING. I have always loved Dave Lee aka Joey Negro because his music “feel-good”. The Sunburst Band’s albums have been superb, but this is STELLA. The last album used some electronic wizardry with a few samples – Gino Vannelli, Dianne Steinberg and The Universal Robot Band were cheekily used. These did nothing but underpin an already sumptuous groove, so all is forgiven. The band have gone all out with real instruments, no samples, a plethora of classy vocalists including Taka Boom again, and Leroy Burgess to make a boogie album of CLASSIC proportions.I am so excited about this album. They DO make quality soulful, good-times, dance music and Dave Lee has really blown the show open. I have only one fault and that is the cover of Gary Numan’s “Fashion”…hmm, not sure about that one, Dave! From the word go this album kicks ass like no other; the strings, vibes and harmonies within the “Journey Intro” really do set out the Sunburst Band Stall, and it is the following cut, “Rough Times”, that really hits the spot. The funky bass is straight out of the Chic camp and Taka Boom really delivers a STRONG lyric that is very stark, dark and raw BUT the groove is party orientated and is, believe me, best played LOUD!I was given gooseflesh by the amazing “Our Lives Are Shaped”. The singer holds that lonnnnnnng soulful note whilst the strings which then dazzle us very much in the style of Donald Byrd’s “Wind parade”. This is simply spellbinding. “Shabadowah” adds some almost ambient. After all this I was still not prepared for the epic “Journey To The Sun”. This is a track to die for. Today is warm and Sunny and God was this banging away in the car. Stuff like this makes my soul swell and makes me feel on top of the world. You CANNOT beat music like this!!!! The funky “Man Of War” is very potent, powerful and aimed at a certain US President. It is a clenched fist draped in a groovy beat.The only downtempo effort is the heavenly title track. The song could have been recorded circa 1979 – 1981…wonderful. My KILLER cut though to totally flatten me is the ESSENTIAL “We Can Live Forever”. This is the ultimate is feel-good soul and the Earth, Wind & Fire vibe is amazing. God, I cannot get over this album! Also, it simply gets better with each and every play…I would rate this album as being a modern classic, and cannot recommend it enough. I never thought that we would be hearing music of this standard and quality in 2008…but here it is. ENJOY.

Barry Towler