Fo’ Reel – Heavy Water | Album Review

foreelcdFo’Reel –¬†Heavy Water

Self Release

11 songs time-53:03

Buy this CD! I could just leave it at that and you would realize that my suggestion was 100% correct. I will attempt to give an accurate description of this masterful creation of an amalgamation of southern soul and rhythm & blues, blues, funk, rhumba rhythms and a bit of Texas swing. What started out as a studio project created by band leader, executive producer and lead guitarist Mark Domizio has evolved into a touring band with one substituted band member. Mark has been a “first-call” guitarist for many years based in New Orleans. The New Orleans based band also features local soul-singing legend C.P. Love’s seasoned voice on five tracks. The also excellent Rick Lawson provides smoother soul vocals on four tunes.

Journeyman keyboard ace Johnny Neel who has played with The Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule and Dickey Betts among others supplies his trademark funky organ along with piano. Drum chores are split between Daryl Burgess and Allyn Robinson. David Hyde is the bassman, although Dr. John’s longtime bassist David Barard is in the touring band. Rick Lawson also isn’t in the touring band. To top all of this off is a classic soul-rhythm & blues horn section consisting of Jon Smith, Ward Smith and Barney Floyd.

C.P. Love displays why he is considered a soul legend in New Orleans with a great version of Albert King’s classic “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home”. The entire band shines here as the horns punch the groove, Johnny Neel’s organ funks it up and Mark Domizio rips through with some smokin’ guitar licks. The soul, funk and rhythm & blues assault continues on the title track. Not quite sure what it is about, but dang it sure sounds good! Mark contributes just the right notes on guitar.

Rick Lawson introduces his “smooth-as-silk” pipes to the slow-grooving blues of “Leave Your Love Alone” that also showcases cool organ, note perfect guitar and some sexy sax from Jon Smith. Rick next works his magic on the Albert King-inspired slow blues of “Blues” where Mark delivers some nice guitar note bending ala Mr. King.

Their instrumental tribute to Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown on “Gate” is worth the price of admission for my money. Somebody has finally seen fit to emulate the Texas Swing master with such careful attention to detail on this Domizio-penned gem. He captures Gatemouth’s guitar style right down to his patented quick finger-slides. The horn section punctuates the tune as well as featuring brief solos. If you didn’t know any better you would swear this was a song from the master himself. It doesn’t get any better than this.

C.P. Love returns with his nicely-aged voice accompanied by Calypso rhythms, organ, electric piano and beautifully played slide guitar on “What I Can Do”. He brings another great vocal to the first of two Luther Allison songs on “What’s Going On In My Home”. Organ and some neat “wah-wah” keyboard add to the funk-fest. The second has a gospel-churchy vibe largely supplied by the organ. It’s a slow and gorgeous blues burner.

Rick Lawson handles the two final vocal tracks. The funky “Shake N Bake” is full of enough snaky rhythms and sexual innuendo to get any house party a rockin’. These masters of replicating a style do it again on the Bobby “Blue” Bland inspired slow-blues of “Outside Love”. Eloquent slide guitar puts the icing on this cake.

The closing original instrumental “Tater” gives all the members a chance to step out and shine. A fitting reminder of all the musical goodness that preceded. Man is the one-man sax section of Jon Smith right on the money as usual.

I could just go on gushing forever about this music. Don’t take my word for it. Go out and make a believer out of yourself. Well crafted and performed music presented with such knowledge, talent and a true love of the genres can’t be faked. Do the music world a favor and make this record a hit. Tell em’ “Bluesdog” sent ya. If this one doesn’t receive its due recognition something is definitely wrong in the grand scheme of things.

Please follow and like us: