Album Reviews

Chris Daniels and the Kings

Blues with Horns, Volume I

Artist:     Chris Daniels and the Kings (with Freddi Gowdy)

Album:     Blues with Horns, Volume I

Label:     Moon Voyage Records

Release Date:     09.15.2017


Do you like blues? Are you a fan of horns? If you’re looking at this album (or this Website) at all, chances are you don’t even need to ask. Rest assured that it’s simple truth in advertising here, and you should also be ready for some big-hearted funk and a hearty helping of Motown soul. If you’re just old-fashioned enough to appreciate physical music formats and their packaging, the accordion-style case also makes an amusing success as a miniature pop-up book (more so than a CD package, to be honest, but it fits their go-for-it sense of fun perfectly).

Chris Daniels and his crew show a wonderful zest for life backed up with the chemistry of good friends who’ve been playing together forever. This time around it’s a collection of horn-infused stompers, mostly classic covers drawn from the golden age of soul. Good friend Freddi Gowdy earns his status on the bill by co-fronting the songs and matching the leader hook for hook. The affair is further spiced up with the likes of Sonny Landreth, Hazel Miller and Coco Brown as special guests, and the title promises that the good times aren’t about to stop rolling.

From the down-and-dirty slow jam of “Fried Food/Hard Liquor” (two things you can count on, they sagely remind us) to a barn-burning take on Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes,” it’s an irresistible party to joyfully celebrate the finer—i.e. the most fun and funky—things in life. The house is rocking, and long may it continue.

—Geno Thackara

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