File next to: Soulive, The Meters, Sugarman 3
For a bunch of British lads, Leeds’ The New Mastersounds sure do have American-style funk nailed down tight. Across more than a dozen albums, they’ve bult and expanded on a solid foundation that folds in James Brown-flavored funk with a New Orleans flavor that recalls The Meters. And in the process they’ve become darlings of the noodle-dancing jam band scene, without making any concessions in that direction. An instrumental foursome (guitar/bass/drums/organ), The New Mastersounds often branch out, adding auxiliary/guest vocalists and brass. All of their strengths – groove, versatility and variety – are on display here. There’s jazz, soul, even reggae (“Fancy,” featuring toasting vocals courtesy Denver’s celebrated Spellbinder); there’s pretty much something here for all tastes; booty-shaking music all. Eddie Roberts‘ tasty guitar is a highlight, as is Joe Tatton‘s supremely soulful Hammond work. Made for Pleasure is classy, yet full of verve and (generally jubilant) emotion.
An edited version of this review appeared in the Colorado Springs Independent.
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