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The Funky Knuckles: The Way It Is

Horns, Guitars, and propelling rhythms kick off “I Believe”, as I enjoy my first taste of The Funky Knuckles. I recently saw bassist Wes Stephenson with the Mark Lettieri Group, and my buddy George Lamie from 4Fusion Friday told me I must check this band out. The song has a chill vibe, but the soloing is amazing on both guitar and trumpet. I am already a fan (or a Knucklehead as they refer to their followers), and it didn’t take long, this music is infectious, melodic, and incorporates plenty of twists and turns keeping it interesting. “Montana” is another intricate yet catchy track with superb horn arrangements and fiery guitar. The laid back chill vibe of “2020” works with some subtle lead guitar, but gains intensity as the song progresses.

You get plenty of good soloing, and good songs. This album is a grower; I like it more with each listen. The songs continue to reveal something new; I find it more powerful as I get familiar with the music. It takes time with instrumental music to find those melodies or grooves to hang on to, but they are here. Listening to “Back Meetings”, the instruments are so well placed in the mix, each providing a perfect part that makes the whole song work. “Mind Runs” features some intense soloing, but the song itself has such a laid back quality. “Loquacious” might be the most interesting piece of music, as it is an all-out assault, and feels like the band is in jam mode, going for broke. I promise you all the nuances will show themselves with repeated listens to this album.

Track List:
1. I Believe
2. Montana
3. 2020
4. Back Meetings
5. Social Distancing
6. Mind Runs
7. Beyond Us
8. What It Is
9. Loquacious
10. Forever Is Not Natural

Added: June 17th 2023
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 507
Language: english

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