Review: Barrence Whitfield & The Savages – Under The Savage Sky
Posted on: Friday, Oct 16, 2015
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages – Under The Savage Sky
(Bloodshot Records: BS230)
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages are now well into their fourth decade of recording, and also delivering raucous and explosive stage shows that combine tough r&b, rock ‘n’ roll, blues and more – led by the man himself, born Barry White, 60 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, and based in Boston. On “Under The Savage Sky” all their trademark energy can be found – the second outing on Bloodshot Records, following 2013’s “Dig Thy Savage Soul”.
Apart from Barrence Whitfield himself, the band comprise long time ‘partner in crime’ Peter Greenberg on dynamite guitar; the rhythm section of Phil Lenker (bass) and Andy Jody (drums), with the searing saxophone of Tom Quartulli. Helping out are Ricky Nye on Hammond B-3 and piano, and Hitomi Taguchi on trumpet.
The 12-tracks on “Under The Savage Sky” combine some band co-writes, with some well picked covers. It kicks off in explosive fashion with the tough rocker “Willow” that shows off Greenberg’s ‘chainsaw’ guitar and Whitfield’s big voice; it’s followed by the demonic “I’m A Full Grown Man” and then the garage rock of “The Claw” . . . a breakneck 2:06 that fairly rattles along, with honking saxophone courtesy of Tom Quartulli.
The band have a rave-up on the even shorter, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Baby”, which hails back to the late, great Gene Vincent. Whitfield ‘doffs the cap’ vocally to Howlin’ Wolf on the strutting “The Wolf Pack”; with another gem being another full-tilt rocker in the shape of “Bad News Perfume”. Greenberg’s muscular guitar riff kicks off “Katy Didn’t”, another wild r&b number!
Highly recommended for all lovers of real and tough r&b . . . long may Barrence Whitfield & The Savages prosper!
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