Some albums need no more classification than to say that they are good-time music. That can certainly be said for Soul Doctor, the latest album from Jimmy Carpenter. The band combines blues, soul, and funk for a fun sound that gets you moving.
Like The Blues Brothers, the title track is a combination of blues and soul. Jason Langley’s bass line is immediately noticeable and finds as good a groove as anything by Donald “Duck” Dunn. Carpenter’s saxophone and Red Young’s Hammond B3 also add a healthy injection of soul to this upbeat song, while the blues component comes mainly from the guitar of Nick Schnebelen.
The soul continues in “When I Met You” specifically from Doug Woolverton (trumpet) and Mark Earley (baritone sax), who sound like they could just as easily be backing James Hunter.
“Love It So Much” features Mike Zito (who also mastered the album) on guitar. This song is propelled by the zydeco-sounding beat of Cameron Tyler and has the classic theme of loving life on the road which is particularly evident when Carpenter sings, “Life in a suitcase somehow suits me.” Don’t be surprised if this song has you looking for a dance partner.
The album takes a turn toward the funky “Wanna Be Right”. The story in this song is worth paying attention to. The narrator sings about being in a troubled relationship. For advice, he turns to the internet. The advice he receives is a question a lot of people have had to answer. “Do you wanna be right, or do you wanna be happy?” This one will definitely get people moving on a dance floor – especially in the instrumental break to end the song.
The funky sounds continue on the band’s version of “One Mint Julep” gets a funky update. The saxophone comes to the forefront while the rhythm section lays down some Motown sounds and makes this an easy song to dance to.
This is a great album to play if you’re looking for an instant mood boost. It’s hard to remain in a foul mood when you hear this collection of songs. Soul Doctor (Gulf Coast Records) will be available everywhere on September 20. Order your copy here.