The McKee Brothers review…October 22, 2017….
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.
McKEE BROTHERS/Moon Over Montgomery: How can you not want to check out a crew that finds a Carson Whitsett song pulled from some obscure Dan Penn back porch set? Funky country boys that don’t cotton to no genre lines, this bunch of extended family that knows how to pull in talent for the party from far and wide. This is back porch party stuff where the folkies like to get funky and not worry about what the baby sitter is going to cost at the end of the evening. A solid good time that turns any gathering into a fun soiree. Check it out.
McKEE BROTHERS/Enjoy It While You Can: This one is simply going to catch you off guard and unaware. A show blues all star date, you’ve got contemporary stars here mixing it up with pros from the 60s and 70s whose chops and presence are full throttle and for real with no dust in the mix. Like the show bands from the Club Manhattan have sprung back to life, this mix of soul, funk and blues is an ear opener and a sonic tonic that gets the party started and keeps it going through the week end. Killer stuff that’s fully loaded throughout.