Album Reviews

Corey Dennison Band

Corey Dennison Band

Artist:     Corey Dennison Band

Album:     Corey Dennison Band

Label:     Delmark

Release Date:     03/18/2016

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Delmark Records is off to a great start this year, first releasing an excellent album from Guy King, and now one of the most talked about bands in Chicago makes their studio debut. What sets the Corey Dennison Band apart from others is their natural grasp of soul music, finding that sweet spot between electric blues and funky soul grooves without the benefit of horns and background vocalists.  Make no mistake– this is a great soul record (and a pretty good blues record as well)!

Vocalist and guitarist Corey Dennison and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Hundt front this four piece unit. Dennison honed his chops playing rhythm and lead guitar for bluesman Carl Weathersby for a decade. Hundt, who plays guitar and organ here, had a major role in the Nick Moss band, and leads his own one-man band playing guitar, harp, mandolin, bass and drums. Hundt and Dennison penned all 13 tracks and display a formidable partnership throughout. Dennison’s vocals remind me at times of a more restrained version of the late Steve Marriot of Humble Pie.

The album begins with the chorus-driven “Getcha ‘ Pull,” into electric blues on “Tugboat Blues,” before settling into a seductive soulful groove on the percolating “The Deacon.” They mine deep soul on the passionately delivered “Room to Breathe.” Danceable tunes like “City Lights,” “ Good Enough” and the Weathersby/Albert King “Aw, Snap!” indicate why this band has become such a club favorite in Chicago.

They put some straight ahead blues tunes into the sequence, like “She’s No Good” and rave up on the instrumental, “Jasper’s Hop.” Yet the strength of this band is their irresistible soul tunes, like the aforementioned and “Don’t Say You’re Sorry.” These guys are going places. Look them up when you’re in Chicago, and let’s hope we see them on the festival circuit this summer.

-Jim Hynes

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