This funk/jazz/alloftheabove combo from Nashville describe themselves as
"psychafunkadoobalicious". The opening track on this live album certainly
captures that feel. Title is just about as exciting and energetic as
instrumental band can be. The intro guitar lick alone is worth the price of
this CD. Before you know it, Guy Smiley will have you thumping your
funkdoobalicious booty. Saxophonist Patrick Dolan, or "Patty D" as his band
mates chant during his solo, shreds like no other, and you can tell his time
playing with Jeff Coffin of the Flecktones was time well spent.
Miles Davis’s
Nardis gets the Guy Smiley treatment where they justly stay true to
composed sections and leave room for more horn solos in the middle. Horns
are clearly what this band is about. Their sound dominates pretty much every
song, but these guys definitely have the chops. Rounding out the horn
section are Chris West and Ryan Styles who provide the tight arrangements
that drive their sound.
Archives is a wild and peculiar ride showcasing odd time signatures
key changes. Again it is the horns up front, but the drums on this track are
what really stand out. Drummer Jim Kolacek provides a very drum-n-bass-like
groove for the first part of the tune, until it takes a sharp left turn into
outer-space where keyboards take center stage.
The highlight of the album is a cover of Average White Band’s Pick Up The
Pieces. This infamous funk instrumental is perfect for this band. Styles
gets a chance to strut his stuff on the baritone and completely funks the
room up. The song reaches numerous climaxes and the crowd clearly enjoys
what they’re hearing. Who wouldn’t? The album closes out with Think Big
Booms which chugs along at a medium pace and features Graham Spice on
vocals. His scat singing during the guitar solo adds a nice touch and
showcases just how much range these guys have.
The Guy Smiley Blues Exchange is not really bluesy at all, more like funky
and jazzy. Their music features tight arrangements, but also plenty of room
for improvisation. The album showcases a nice mixture of songs, but it
occasionally slips a few notches. Some of their songs drag on and get
repetitive and suffer from overthinking (too many tempo changes!), but
that’s nothing a little discipline can’t fix. But one thing that
definitely doesn’t need to be fixed is their energy and enthusiasm for their
music which is as funkdoobalicious as hell.