Review: Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy – Funky To The Bone

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015

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Chris Daniels & The Kings Featuring Freddi Gowdy – Funky To The Bone
(Moon Voyage Records: CD2015)

Veteran Colorado musicians Chris Daniels and Freddi Gowdy are not only soul survivors but they are also cancer survivors (Daniels; acute myeloid leukaemia – Gowdy; prostate cancer) who have battled their way back into the studios to create once again the music they hold so dear. Freddi, was one half of the sixties soul duo, Freddi Henchi (Henchi Graves) and the Soulsetters, who rose from the ashes of the Phoenix, Arizona-based band The Jokers.

Sadly, after the death of Henchi of cancer in 2009 the band was dissolved. In the early seventies Chris played in a number of bands but after moving to Colorado in 1971 he joined the band Magic Music and played with them until they broke up in the mid seventies, he returned to full time education to gain a degree, after which he returned to music in 1981, three years later he formed CD & TK.

Fred had a chance meeting with Chris in 2011 at a Colorado Music Hall of Fame event and the encounter happily culminated with Freddi being invited to share lead vocals with Chris in the Kings. Since then the band have gone on from strength to strength. Now with this funk-filled festival of sound the two are burning up the speaker cabinets with the help of; Randy Amen; drums and vocals, Kevin “Bro” Lege; bass and vocals), Colin “Bones” Jones; lead guitar, Jim Waddell; tenor and alto saxophones and vocals, and Darryl “Doody” Abrahamson; trumpet and vocals.

There are guest artists which include Little Feat’s Billy Payne, keyboards, Christian Teele; percussion, Darren Kramer; trombone, Bob Rebholz; tenor saxophone, Carlos Chavez; baritone saxophone, and vocalists Hazel Miller, Coco Brown, Carl Carwell, and Chris Kimmel. The ten numbers here include a fine mixture of covers and originals ranging from the opener “Funky To the Bone”, which is a new version of the original Soulsetters number that flexes the vocal muscles and has the horns blowing away the cobwebs with a strutting confident striding groove.

A completely relaxed slinky, sliding Crescent City drenched cover of Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got”, reels you in, with its warm inviting horns and hooking guitar and piano. There are two Rance Allen numbers; “Joy, which contains an urging, twisting alto saxophone alongside warming gospel influenced backing vocals, a definite slowburning dance floor killer while “What A Day”, slows things down with a goodtime, carefree swinging blues that simply frolics and gambols along.

“Don’t Let Your Mouth Write No Checks”, returns to the strutting peacock feel, an uplifting uptown funker with a stirring groove that has the horns braying and swaying their way forward to happy town. “Cool Breeze”, has a feel of hot sweaty urban nights with a tight, tight guitar, underpinning echoes of classic Tower of Power surging waves of sweet, chilling, drenching horns.

A poignant number is “Survivors”, a piano led ballad with pleasantly ringing horns, reinforcing the willpower and dedication of thousands other suffers like Chris and Freddi on to better health and a better day. This is a wonderful slice of glorious funkin’ soul and blues!



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