Issue #14 Jan. '00
One of the simple joys in life is kicking back with an old friend and shooting the breeze. It doesn't matter if the conversation is about your father teaching you to throw a curve ball, the girlfriend you met while buying a used kitchen table, your limping little dog, or the house parties until 9 o'clock in the AM. What matters is the time you are sharing; How it eases your mind and comforts your soul...
Our old friends Crenshaw are back with their new CD the mack sessions the follow up to last years disc add the good the IndepenDisc Feature of Mar. '99, and they've laid to rest the industry standard "Sophomore Jinx". Here Dan and Mike Allenby, Tad Howard, and Jon Melzer have taken the formula that made add the good one of our favorites of '99 and built upon it in towering proportions.
the mack sessions eases our mind and comforts our soul as Crenshaw kicks back and entertains us with smooth, funk laced jamfests that carry us along with gleeful abandon. Taking a more (unintentional) Steely Dan approach this time around, Crenshaw drops extended middle bridges of exquisite jazz infused lead guitar work into their Dave Matthews -with a twist- groove rhythms. The results are a continuous run of intriguing hooks and catchy fills that delight the senses and move our feet to a subconscious shuffle that we only recognize once the music has stopped.
The Grateful Dead parallel can still be applied (we forgive the "Shakedown Street" opening riff cop in "here comes dizzy") in the way that Crenshaw's musical compositions come off extremely tight and precisely arranged, yet give the feel of complete improvisation as they sail away. As a unit, Crenshaw plays off one another to perfection, allowing each to guide the other as they carve their own musical paths. To quote myself from last years add the good review: "Their sound is provocative, tantalizing, hypnotic, funky, serene, and just plain easy on the ears." That quote applies here, but jumps from the minors to the majors.
Using shared vocals Crenshaw adds to the overall ambiance of the disc by perfectly matching individual vocal abilities to the structure of each song so as to complete/complement the arrangements that carry them along on their musical journey. And on this musical journey it doesn't matter what the conversation is about...
the mack sessions by Crenshaw is one of the simple joys of life. Kick back and share some time with it, you'll be glad you did.
- the mack sessions
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