I’ve been busy, you’ve been busy. It happens. But when you let being ‘busy’ take you away from things you want and should do for yourself, you’ve stopped living for simply existing. Not acceptable.
Thankfully, I saw the light and decided that the cure for my “busy trap” was to check out the new album Dig Thy Savage Soul from Barrence Whitfield & the Savages. The album came out last month on Bloodshot Records and has been glaring at me from my To-Do list for far too long. It was just the right prescription. And now I’m sharing the dose with you.
5 Reasons Why You Need to Hear Barrence Whitfield & the Savages’ Dig Thy Savage Soul
1. If Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, and Little Richard formed a band, with Willie Dixon as the producer, they would make this album. Forget “Blurred Lines” being ‘reminiscent of a sound’ this IS the sound. It’s the perfect recipe of Rhythm & Blues and Rock n’ Roll that turned parents and teenagers against each other over half a century ago.
2. THAT VOICE. A mix of Howlin’ Wolf and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Whitfield has a voice that shrills and kills. It’s a scratchy, powerful, and soulful growl, but not in a boisterous way. Classic.
3. It ain’t all about the guitars. Behind the amazing voice, saxophones and keyboards drive many of the songs, the guitar is all about the rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, the guitar lines and solos are awesome, but be ready to get blown away by some rock n’ roll sax and keys as well.
4. “I’m Sad About It“. I’ve always loved the Sam Cooke song “Sad Mood” due to its pleasant musical tone and simple instrumentation. The ‘sad’ song is so beautifully executed it makes me smile. On the contrary, “I’m Sad About It” just makes you feel sad… and upset, deep down in the pit of your stomach. Like a page torn straight from a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins songbook it’s filled with shrieks and hollers, and the keyboards will drive you mad. You’ll never want to have a bad dream again, or at least have a punching bag ready for when you wake up. I also love the use of musical pause in this one.
5. Timeless. They say age is nothing but a number and here that rings true. At 58, Whitfield is releasing his first album with the Savages in nearly twenty years. A lot can happen in two decades, lucky for us that period only made this band stronger. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages sound fresh, full of energy, and ready to power forward no matter what.