LA's Delgado Brothers made their recording debut back in the 1987. Since
that time the band--based around brothers Steve, Joey and Bob--have been
sighted on a regular basis, garnering favorable reviews. Until very
recently, however, recordings have been few and far between, and 2003 sees
the release of their latest disc, "A Brother's Dream."
The album gets off to a good start with "Mama's Crying." The band conjure
up a sound somewhat akin to a hybrid of Jimi Hendrix and Steely Dan, all
laid over a funky Neville Brothers style voodoo backbeat. The Delgado
Brothers are no one-trick pony, however, and incorporate a range of styles
in their music. The ensuing "Joy You Bring," for example, slows the pace
down, and adds a more Gospel based feel. This one features some fine
Hammond playing from Dave Kelley, nicely punctuated by Brother Joey's
Although not a blues band as such, the Delgado Brothers do include blues in
their repertoire. "Lost In The Shuffle" is a nicely laid back shuffle(!),
featuring murky sounding harp, and the slide guitar solo sounds almost
Hawaiian. The only other near blues tune is "Betty Sue Boogaloo." A more
uptempo number driven along by the drums and led from the front by the call
and response between guitar and keyboards, this one sounds like it could be
a real crowd pleaser at live shows.
The soulful/funky side of the band is also on display on several cuts. The
most soulful tune is "Let's Go," which has an underlying beat not
dissimilar to Robert Ward's "Trying My Best (Not To Never Do Wrong)." When
it comes to funk, New Orleans seems to be the watchword for tracks like "Do
You See Me," which hints at the Meters.
In addition to their more danceable work, the Brothers also have a mellow
side. In places the sound veers close to some of the work by the Eagles.
This is especially true on "What's It Gonna Be," "Picture Of You," which
features some nice dobro, and "Jennie," with its military marching
drumbeat. The closing track, "Talk To My Friend," is also in a similar vein.
"A Brother's Dream" is something of a grower. Initial impressions are of a
job well done, without ever being truly outstanding. Repeated plays,
however, reveal that the band are a very tight unit, and despite the fairly
eclectic style have a fairly well-defined sense of purpose. One for
listeners with a slightly broader taste.
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