Daf [Release date 31.05.14]
‘Reconsider Me’ is a gloriously retro, soulful and at times funky, rock-blues crossover album with 7 carefully chosen covers and 4 originals, all glued together by A.C.’s vocal tour-de-force which gives him his signature sound.
‘Reconsider Me’ is essentially an aggregation of 11 songs that offer enough stylist variety, intricate band interplay and deep grooves to showcase a startlingly good voice.
A.C. is a soulful singer and fine interpreter of song who at his best, leans into a song to take it by the scruff of the neck and like all great blues shouters, remodel it into something all of his own. His veers from soulful, funky rocking blues to old school r&b, soul and goodtime rockaboogie.
His confident phrasing gives him the ability to transform a mundane outing such as ‘What Is Love’ into something more uplifting. His clarity of diction, the pacing of his delivery and his soulful phrasing has the listener hanging on each lyrical nuance.
‘Reconsider Me’ is a solid rather than memorable album. His best moments bring out a sparkling performance by a singer who knows the value of extending a note and conversely holding back to make the maximum impact. On the downside, at times it’s just a little too smooth the fully engage us emotionally.
He’s well supported by a bristling rhythm section and some strong rhythm guitar from Kid Andersen, while keyboard player Nate Ginsberg frequently fattens the sound to bring a dynamic quality to the arrangements.
The album is topped and tailed by the funky, white boy soul groove of ‘You Don’t’ Know What Love Is’ – a number twisted and turned by his gnarly tenor – and the equally funky Fats Domino penned ‘Blue Monday’.
There’s a further funky take of Rory Gallagher’s ‘Do You Read Me’ , on which A.C. delivers a passionate soulful vocal over an extravagant organ sweep and Derrick ‘D’Mar’ Martin’s powerful drums, which leads to an unexpected momentary shred and a soaring solo
Elvin Bishop’s ‘Rock My Soul’ is another highlight. It’s embedded with a lilting melody and repeated catchy riff, while A.C.’s trebly voice is nicely offset by accompanying gospel bv’s, well suited to the catchy hook. He further extends his range into an Edgar Winter style primal scream, as the band cooks up an enveloping wall of sound.
The soulful title track, complete with a startling falsetto is probably a tad too MOR, but there’s no denying his wiry soulful phrasing, while the James Brown shuffle ‘Queen Bee’ contrasts his earthy vocals with his sinuous guitar lines. It’s the kind of track that has been honed coast to coast in a thousand roadhouses, and oozes class and low down grit.
At this point the album slips into a workman like mode, on well played but ultimately forgettable material. The feverish slide-led intro of the self penned ‘Live A Lie’ is energetic enough, but fails to fulfil its potential. He repeats the intro on the southern tinged rockaboogie ‘Three Ways To Fall’ which rocks with real intent, but is basically a slice of bar room boogie.
He digs deeper to find more space and phrase eloquently on the slow blues ‘Death Bed Blues’. The album flows seamlessly, while the sequencing is smart enough to place the frisky rocker ‘Call ‘em Baby’ at the three quarter mark to give the album a notable lift.
‘Reconsider Me’ is an enjoyable album that probably casts its scope a little too widely in an attempt to find a consistently suitable musical context for AC’s soulful voice. That said, there’s enough sparkle and real feel to consider purchasing it. ***½
Review by Pete Feenstra
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