Mitchell T. & The H.B.’s – She’s Lookin’ Good | Album Review

mitchpalmercdMitchell T. & The H.B.’s – She’s Lookin’ Good

Topcat Records

16 songs time-45:42

If at the end of this record you don’t find yourself boogalooing down Broadway, I strongly suggest making an appointment to see Dr. Buzzard post haste to see where your mojo done went. Take a dash of Wilson Pickett, a pinch of James Brown, a teaspoonful of Louis Jordan, a sprinkling of Junior Wells and a few others…Mix together thoroughly, and viola…You get Mitchell Palmer, a virtual funk machine. If that isn’t enough, you also get The Hash Brown Band getting all funky and bluesy behind his funkifying. They are tighter than a bull’s posterior. This Texas band consists of just guitar, bass and drums, but I swear I almost hear a horn section. The first few songs are pure soul and funk, then some blues get tossed into the mix. Les Finess and Moe Rithum(pseudonyms’ for sure) supply a full production sound where all the instruments are well defined. When you look up soul singer in the dictionary you will find Mitch Palmer’s picture there. Hey, you can read the remainder of my review if you loke, or you can save yourself some precious time and run right out and pick bad boy up. Hey, get this, this thing was recorded in 1997. Somebody has been holding out on me. How in the San Juan Hills did this gem slip under the musical radar?

The riff from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” kicks off Rufus Thomas’ “Can Your Monkey Do The Dog”, with Micthell’s great gravelly voice leading the way. A snippet of Rufus’ “Walkin’ The Dog” is thrown in for good measure. The wicked Wilson Pickett’s “Three Time Loser” up the funk quotient along with the super-funk-ilicious title track.

The gender roles get reversed on a version of Jean Knight’s 1971 soul hit “Mr. Big Stuff”, as the narrator cops to the accusations made about him. A Faithful, but way too short version of Buddy Guy’s “A Man Of Many Words” displays a full drum sound and a nice guitar solo by Hash Brown. “When Girls Do It” comments on the fact that women get more attention for the same thing a man does, according to the narrator. “Give It To Me” and “Sawed Off Shot Gun” feature Andrew Baxter Jr. on lead guitar duties. On the latter song the sentiment is rougher than an outhouse corn cob on chili night-“Boom boom, with my sawed off shot gun I’m gonna clean out the whole first floor”.

Hash Brown executes a bluesy guitar solo on the original Fleetwood Mac’s “Something Inside Of Me”. Hash breaks out the wah-wah guitar for “Soul Sister”. The band gets super-duper funky on “Lickin’ Stick” by George Torrence & The Naturals. As soon as you here the opening riff, most folks will recognize this infectious chestnut.

A great take on Otis Rush’s classic “Homework” is the last full length song. The thirty-five second “Stick “N’ Stay” is a band introduction over music. It’s a song that would lead into a break on the bandstand. After hearing all this I doubt that most people would leave this off the stereo for too long.

Mitch Palmer, Hash Brown, Terry Montgomery on bass, Bobby Baranowski on drums along with special guest Andrew Baxter Jr. on lead guitar have put together an experience that is bigger than the sum of its’ parts. This is pure enjoyment from beginning to end. Get yourself your beverage of choice and party on down til’ the cows come home.

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