Recently had the opportunity to preview The Shu Shu’s debut Soul Slap released just this week. It’s currently available on Bandcamp here. As the narrative in their initial video “Grease the Chain” says, the group “take you back to the 60s with their authentic organ trio combo sound. Inspired by Memphis blues, New Orleans funk and east coast organ jazz, the trio make good time music to put a smile on your face and ants in your pants.”
The Barcelona based group has been playing together for 10 years but just recently settled in on the sound you’ll hear on Soul Slap. The group is comprised of Abel Boquera – Hammond Organ, Caspar St. Charles – Drums and Dave Wilkinson – Guitar . Here’s a short take on the disc, track by track.
- Soul Slap – Right out of the gate, this tune took me back to The Blues Brothers which of course takes you back to the Memphis sound. Nice guitar work a la Steve Cropper with that old school feel. Good interplay with Abel on organ but it’s definitely a “guitar” tune.
- Grease the Chain – This is of course the first video single and has that nasty call response between guitar and organ. The guitar lick has a dirty, dark sound while the organ just makes you want to move and groove.
- Red Peppers – No shit, you’ll hear “Green Onions” (Booker T & the MGs) reflection immediately in this tune. It’s new but sounds like a classic and according to Dave, “it was kind of a starting point to get the juices flowing but we liked how it turned out so kept it on the record.”
- Sombrero – Yes, it does sound like some Clint Eastwood spaghetti western showdown shit is about to go down in the center of town. Some somber melodies here – get the coffins ready. Sergio Leone and Lalo Schifrin would approve.
- Nibbles – The tune has that doo-wop feel reminiscent of Freddy Cannon’s Palisades Park but without the vox. It’s a cool summer dance tune.
- T-Neck – This one rides a nice lick through with a catchy refrain and ultimately to a bouncy organ and guitar duo that rolls right through with an improvisational sound. Excellent guitar solo midway through before coming back to the head. This is more of a stretched out jam and let’s the group flex a little on the longest tune of the album.
- The Gangster – A big bluesy guitar roll opens this one and makes me visualize a Mississippi riverboat. Beautiful organ solo follows and the senses are tickled — this one should be played in a speakeasy, gambling hall or brothel.
- Schmokin’ Over There – Organ rides over the top of guitar-drum riff throughout this one and flows. Nice guitar twang over organ interlude before organ-guitar combo takes the song out.
- Gravy Train – This one’s a nice cruising tune, just fine for drivin’ and relaxing. Again excellent guitar-organ interplay on the main melody with each alternating in lead.
- You Know I Know – This is a nice ballad, with the guitar being the lead “voice” – definitely could see vocals going with this one. I think in the future this one has to be remixed with some lyrics :).
- Le Bo – This one starts out like Hand Jive all bouncy and jangly. Abel is all over them keys, skittish as all get out. Caspar rock solid in the pocket and Dave with the ching of the guitar glides into Dave’s solo which glides back into the organ closeout for the song and the album.