MGs Big Beets

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MGs Big Beets

When ‘St John Morning Blues’, the opening track of MG’s Big Beets  turned up on iPod shuffle recently, it was with puzzlement that I checked the screen to confirm if I was listening to an unknown Lazy Lester performance, or a languid, loping, slide-heavy Lowell George song that had somehow passed me by. The confirmation that my funk cred was intact, and that this was Quebecois bluesman Martin Goyette, compelled me to dial up MG’s Big Beets and listen to it in its glorious Delta entirety.

Raw of voice, reminiscent of Dr John, and strident on blues harp, Goyette’s is a sound easy to get used to. Following the jagged New Orleans funk magnetism of that opener, the atmosphere of ‘Night Out’ is more brooding, even if the subject is on the boy-meets-girl theme, albeit with late night adult overtones.

And that Crescent City groove is ever present. Chris Tauchner’s evocative electric piano, especially  on ‘Rolling’ and ‘No More Room’, the bubbling funk bass and pattering drum rhythms courtesy of Jarrod Atkinson and Louis-Étienne Drouin respectively, are constants of the album’s ten tracks. ‘Free Love’ is possibly the prime example of rhythm section precision in a busy, but watertight arrangement, and ‘Bottle Of Champagne’ even features a Mary-Pier Guilbault gospel counterpoint vocal, adding further to the soulful feel of MG’s Big Beets.

The spacious production is as vital to MG’s Big Beets as the exquisite playing and Goyette’s anguished vocal rasp, with closing track ‘Unwind’ a masterclass demonstration of how what’s left out is as vital to a song as what’s in the mix.

This guy deserves to be on your radar.
Date added: Sep 27, 2017

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