Artist: Tweed Funk
Album: Come Together
Label: Tweed Tone
Release Date: 04/29/2016
Soul music veteran and Tweed Funk leader Joseph “Smokey” Holman is a powerhouse vocalist and dynamic frontman. There’s no denying Holman’s talent, but Come Together is clearly a team effort. While Holman struts his stuff on vocals, the horns and rhythm section purr like a finely tuned V-8. Whether playing sweet soul or hard hitting funk, Tweed Funk sounds spandex-tight on every track.
The title track and “Light Up the Night” combine pulsating funk grooves with socially conscious lyrics. Bassist Eric Madunic and drummer Dave Schoepke have mastered the art of keeping a groove. The horn section is razor-sharp, with trumpeter Doug Wolverton getting a generous share of solo space. The simmering instrumental “Who Is This” serves as a perfect showcase for Tweed Funk’s unique chemistry. The mid-tempo groove gets feet tapping, and both Wolverton and tenor saxophonist Andrew Spadafora get a chance to stretch out. The musicianship remains strong on tracks that dial down the intensity. The upbeat lyrics of “Don’t Give Me Up” are accompanied by a sunny Memphis soul arrangement, and a trumpet solo from Wolverton adds spice. “Sweet Music” is a tender, autobiographical tale from Holman. The delicate accompaniment perfectly matches Homan’s sentimental and introspective lyrics.
Holman’s ongoing struggle with multiple myeloma makes listening to Come Together a bittersweet experience. It takes a strong spirit to make outstanding music and keep the torch of traditional soul music burning. Music fans will be keeping Holmon in their thoughts and prayers as he continues to fight.
– Jon Kleinman