Charlie Hunter: Athens




Charlie Hunter (guitar)


Baboon Strength (Spire Artist Media)

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Charlie Hunter (guitar),

Tony Mason (drums), Erik Deutsch (organ)


Composed by Charlie Hunter


Recorded: Brooklyn, May 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Musicologists go home. The baboon on the CD cover is telling you there is nothing here for you to analyze. The melody sounds like an ambulance siren heading to the emergency room. The bridge is just some organ chords that a cynic could say were recycled from Edgar Winter's "Free Ride." If Tony Mason were pounding out the backbeat any harder, there would be a hole in his drumhead. And the big hook is simply a moment of silence that comes exactly at the one minute mark. No, all this doesn't sound very appetizing.

And yet, and yet . . . I could easily imagine this track becoming a hit. It captures a happy groove and holds onto it for the whole track. Most jam-band instrumentals make me want to send them back to the garage from whence they came, but a song like this shows you what this type of music is supposed to sound like. Give Hunter his props. But, honestly, I could do without the baboon.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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