7 songs – 28 minutes
Moses Patrou is a NYC-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. On his sophomore effort, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1, he sings, and plays drums, keyboards and percussion, in addition to arranging the horns. He also wrote all the songs, bar “Song For My Friend”, which he co-wrote with guitarist and producer, Scott Sharrard.
The album is rooted in R&B and, while there is much for a blues fan to enjoy, it most certainly is not a blues album. The music is old-fashioned R&B/Soul and, as one might expect from a drummer who learned at the feet of the great Clyde Stubblefield, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 is all about the groove. The songs are loose-limbed, funky, structurally simple work-outs, all driven by some sophisticated but often subtle drumming. Opening with the foot-tapping rhythm of “Everybody Wants Everything”, there is a sheen and a polish to the music that contrasts nicely with Patrou’s slightly raspy, whispery vocals.
Patrou receives stellar backing from Sharrard (perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Gregg Allman & Friends), Jeff “The Claw” Hanley on bass and Ben Stivers on piano, keys and organ. On “Everybody Wants Everything”, Al Falaschi adds sax (including a wild solo), and Courtney Larson and Charles Wagner add trombone and trumpet respectively. Sean Dixon, Christina Courtin and Erik Carlson contribute strings to “Can’t Stop (People Change)”.
The record was co-produced by Patrou, Scott Sharrard and Charles Martinez (previously a sound engineer for Michael McDonald, Boz Skaggs and Donald Fagen, amongst others), and recorded and mixed at Audio Paint in NYC. Together, they do a good job of capturing a warm depth to the sound.
With seven songs and clocking in at 28 minutes, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 is a very short album. Even the solo spots are kept short and to the point. The musicians however are more than capable of producing memorable solos in the limited opportunities they are offered. Sharrard in particular is extremely impressive, demonstrating a detailed understanding of a wide range of styles, from the slide guitar solo on “Didn’t Wanna Fall…” and the wah-wah’ed rhythm guitar on “Everybody Wants Everything” to the George Benson-esque solos on “Who Will Be There?” and the Cornell Dupree-inspired sliding fourths that feature on a number of songs.
The standout track on the album is “Mistreated Your Love”, a funked-up, slightly rockier number that settles into a groove as deep and irresistible as the Colorado River and features a longer more hard-edged guitar solo from Sharrard. This is one of those songs that grabs the listener from the first few bars and does not let them go.
As an introduction to the music of Moses Patrou, Can’t Stop, Vol. 1 offers enough evidence to suggest that he is a musician of talent with bags of potential. It also however has the feel of being something of a stop-gap album, or even an EP, given its short playing time and the loose “jam-feel” to the songs.
Worth checking out if your tastes run to the smoother side of R&B and soul, albeit with the hope that Vol. 2 will provide meatier fare.