Chris Daniels And The Kings With Freddi Gowdy – Blues With Horns Vol 1 | Album Review

Chris Daniels And The Kings With Freddi Gowdy – Blues With Horns Vol 1

Moon Voyage Records

10 songs time-42:01

Colorado based Chris Daniels And The Kings along with vocalist Freddi Gowdy have set out to emulate horn based bands like AL Kooper’s Blood, Sweat and Tears and such. The horns are here, but there is nothing here that you could call blues. The music is a combination of R&B, funk and soul. Chris and Freddi Gowdy handle the vocals. Chris’s voice is serviceable while Freddi possesses a more soulful set of pipes. Chris handles guitar duties admirably. Clay Kirkland contributes harmonica occasionally. There are three band penned songs with the remainder being covers.

The jaunty “Sweet Memphis” feels like a wonderful walk through the town. Louisiana slide guitar wizard Sonny Landreth lends his lilting magic over the horn section. This song is pretty much perfect with Chris providing an energetic vocal performance. Clay Kirkland, although not listed in the band credits, adds his harmonica playing to the horn driven “Fried Food/Hard Liquor”, a song that carries on the feel of the south. Chris also handles the vocal on this one.

Things get all Sly Stone-like funky on the appropriately titled “Get Up Off The Funk”, sung by Fred Gowdy and backing vocalists. Gowdy turns in another soulful vocal on Sam Cooke’s “Soothe Me”. He once again works his soulful magic on the on the old school rhythm and blues “Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)”.

Then things turn towards more of a humorous novelty song vibe for three songs. Funkster Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Baby’s In Love With The Radio” comes off as a slice of fluff filler. Chris Daniels some what emulates Elvin Bishop’s goofy delivery on Elvin’s “Can’t Even Do Wrong Right”. Rounding out the trio light hearted songs is Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s “You Can Stay But That Noise Must Go”, another foray into the “funkisphere”.

Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes” sticks pretty closely to the original with it’s classic horn driven riff and another Freddi Gowdy vocal. The harmonica on this one is unnecessary and obtrusive. The CD winds down with “Rain Check”, a old timey sounding little romp with Chris on vocals and acoustic guitar accompanied by piano and harmonica. In it he relates his mother’s survival strategy of “dancing every chance I get before I have to go”.

An enjoyable record if not a tad hokey at times. The musicians assembled here are top notch. The music runs from R&B, soul and funk. The use of horns is reminiscent of some of the horn bands of the late 60s-early 70s. The cardboard accordion-like fold out packaging is a unique design as it reveals many levels of band photos. But I digress. It’s all ties in with the frivolous approach of some of the music herein. No blues, but good music none the less.

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