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Family Groove Company: The Charmer

What do you get when you throw Steely Dan, Phish, Medeski Martin and Wood, and The Beatles, into a blender on high-speed for 30 seconds, and then pour into an ice cold glass? In all probability you might get the sophomore release from Chicago's Family Groove Company called The Charmer. This enjoyable collection of fourteen songs gives off plenty of rock, jazz, and blues/funk vibes, proving to have plenty of the all powerful "groove" characteristic. While Family Groove Company take a fairly laid-back approach throughout The Charmer, complete with breezy arrangements littered with tasty Hammond, Rhodes, piano, and guitar instrumentation, it's the Beatles-meets Grateful Dead styled vocals that really carry things through here, providing more than a few share of memorable and catchy melodies, as they do so well on tracks like "Remember Sue", "Virginia Hill", and "Bird n Diz".

While every piece here is a pleasant listen, I wished the band would break out a little more and show off some of the jazz and fusion chops that they briefly unearth on the instrumental "Byron's Got the Time". This one has some bitchin' Hammond licks from Jordan Wilkow, tight rhythms from bassist Janis Wallin & drummer Mattias Blanck, and groovy funk guitar work courtesy of guitarist Adam Lewis. The rest of the album, while solid, plays things just a little too safe. Let's hope on future albums Family Groove Company shows us a little more of that musical prowess, as it's obvious here that we know they can write a catchy tune.

Track Listing
1. The Charmer
2. Remember Sue
3. The Money Shuffle
4. One Eye Dreaming
5. The Well Wisher
6. Virginia Hill
7. I Can't Tell You
8. Byron's Got the Time
9. Bird 'n' Diz
10. Sabrina Waits
11. The Bends
12. Like I Said
13. Ready Fire Aim
14. Post Sco Ergo Propter Sco

Added: October 3rd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Family Groove Company Website
Hits: 2513
Language: english

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