Bass master Burbridge drops solid, eclectic record
Virtuoso bassist Oteil Burbridge has been making music for over 20 years.
He spent the last ten playing with The Allman Brothers and various side-project supergroups like Frogwings and The Funkin’ Truth.
Burbridge has called his solo work with Oteil and the Peacemakers "jazzy Jesus funk," pulling influence from Southern jazz, blues, funk and gospel. Their latest release Believer justifies the epithet.
Its first track, “Hit the Hay,” is an accessible ditty from this bunch of jam-rockers, showing restraint and a more concrete structure than most of the album’s other tunes, but featuring themes that recur throughout the record.
Believer has a respectable groove and the songs do an OK job of flowing into one another, until “Church Groove” pops up wildly, mid-album, its frenetic bass aided by a gospel organ on speed. The tune comes in at just under three minutes, by far the record’s shortest track, and provides a much-needed sprint. It’s a welcome break in the pacing, and is followed by another slow jam punctuated by unison staccatos, “Happy Dance”.
The final track, “Doxology,” is an appropriate closer. Synonymous with a church hymn, it’s Burbridge’s interpretation of a 16th century melody. Mellow and plain with soft-toned classical-style guitar, the song is like a cool-down from that last lap around the track.