Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns
BACK TO THE SHACK
Hallelujah! Smokin’ Hot Soulful Blues From a Really Classy Crew.
For a million reasons this album nearly missed the cut. It arrived just as it was being released and a host of other albums needed reviewing too at that time too; but I’ve kept coming back to it like a bit of a ‘palette cleanser’ so it just needed to be included on the site. Better late than never, right?
For what it’s worth this type of big band R&B Revue has been out of fashion in the UK for a long but praise the Lord that it’s still loud, proud and rocking in the USA!
The album opens with a fleeting piece of Delta Blues that sounds uncannily like Robert Johnson; then the band let loose everything they have in their arsenal including Mark Campbell and Melanie Taylor’s amazing voices on an ode to Robert Johnson himself. Hell yes!
Oh Lordy…….by track #3 the powerful ballad Don’t Let Her Go, my heart was pounding in time with my tapping feet and the smile on my face was as big as the Tyne Bridge. Damn right these boys have got The Blues.
The band criss-cross Soul and Blues with ease; adding Philly swagger to a Stax/Volt intensity level on Serves Me Right and Bad Habit; but they can do smoochy smoother than Barry White ever did on Change My Ways and the ultra-cool brooding love song Ain’t No Way which sounds like Curtis Stigers, Booker T and Brook Benton putting it down somewhere really seedy late on a Saturday night.
Campbell sounds truly amazing on the Gospel tinged Somebody To Trust which lets the Heart Attack Horns rip your spine in two and features some swirling keyboards throughout.
Because this is ‘grown up’ music and radio has changed a whole lot since I was a lad; there’s no obvious 45 single here; but two songs are well worthy of daytime and indeed night-time radio play; and therefore tie for the accolade of ‘favourite track’……..Something In The Water is a sweet guitar based love song; even though the Horns let you know they are there in the shadows and Let Me In which closes the disc rips the joint up in a way made famous by James Brown and Jackie Wilson but neither had a band as good as the Heart Attack Horns to pour petrol on the flames that the singer creates!
Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns have been strutting their stuff for 30 odd years and with ten previous albums and numerous movie soundtracks and awards under their belt they show no signs of slowing up any time soon.
Released October 2016