THE MCKEE BROTHERS
MOON OVER MONTGOMERY
PIG FEET–CONFIDENTIAL–I FEEL LIKE DYNAMITE–WORRIED ABOUT TOMORROW–YOU KNOW HOW I LIE–MOON OVER MONTGOMERY–KICKS–BAYOU MAN–GO 2 WORK–WHERE YOU GETTIN IT–RUNAWAY LOVE–LATE AT NIGHT–REMEMBER WHEN–FLAT, BLACK, AND CIRCULAR–BLUES OF THE MONTH CLUB–CELEBRATE ME HOME
The McKee Brothers, Dennis and Ralph, are back with their second high-powered release, “Moon Over Montgomery.” No sophomore slump here, as this is another strong, eclectic set that’s sure to have something for everybody. This set teams the brothers with some of the best vocalists and session players from L. A. and Michigan. The brothers are highly-skilled multi-instrumentalists, and they are joined by thirty-plus musicians and a revolving corps of lead vocalists, giving this set a full, “big band” sound!
There are various genres’ represented, too–soul/blues, funk, gospel, even some cool NOLA sounds. Those Big Easy grooves kick things off, with a story of fine “New Orleans cuisine,” with one caveat–“we don’t serve no Pig Feet up in here!” Reggie Brown is the featured vocalist on the stone funk of “I Feel Like Dynamite,” while Reggie Gonzales keeps the funk hittin’ the fan, with “Go 2 Work,” and the smoky, sly tale of two exes trying to reconnect, “Where You Gettin’ It?” Bob Schultz takes the lead on a jazz-inflected tune about gettin’ down to your favorite vinyl, back to the good ole days when music was “Flat, Black, And Circular.” And, Melissa McKee closes the set with a brilliant, just-in-time-for-the-holidays take on “Celebrate Me Home.”
The band hits home on a couple of hard-hitting, societal hot-button topics, and they served as our favorites. A jobless vet sounds off with a genuine fear for this country, and is “Worried About Tomorrow,” with Laith Al-Saadi on lead vocal and Larry McCray on guitar. Ari Teitel and the backing chorus add the gospel fire to the lively story of that “Moon Over Montgomery, hangin’ in a purple sky” that guided the Freedom Marchers and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on their march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965 during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
The McKee Brothers are not only world-class players in their own right, but they have joined forces with an incredible group of their friends to bring “Moon Over Montgomery” to vivid life. This is truly an excellent offering from a band rapidly making a big splash in contemporary blues! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.