McLemore Avenue

926 East (Texas Music Round-up)

Texas Platters

McLemore Avenue

926 East (Texas Music Roundup) As is well-known among devotees of Jimmy Smith, Booker T & the MG's, and Ramsey Lewis, the Hammond B3 is good for much, much more than churchy hymn-accompaniment. Under the right set of fingers and feet, it's capable of the ultimate soulful grooves. Locals McLemore Avenue would be easy to compare to Booker T & Co. (the name refers to the original address of Stax Studios in Memphis); in fact, that's what they're aiming for. Still, guitarist Landis Armstrong is a little more aggressive than Steve Cropper was back in the day, with an amp turned up a bit louder and a few more notes in play -- check the twang on "Texas Toast." Very much in the "Green Onions" patch is "About Face," but groove to the percussive lounge simmer of "Me Gusta" for a change of pace. "A Toy Robot!" finds the quartet surfin' 'n' spyin' with the occasional sci-fi flourish on theremin, while returning to greasy grooves for "Tree-Hug-Her" (Booker T fans, note the name of that one). "(Last of the) V-8 Interceptors" skulks around with an ominous-sounding backbeat, the perfect soundtrack for flogging your way down the interstate into a horizon full of storm clouds. There's not a bum song to be found on here; whether you're an organ aficionado or not, it's just the thing for getting down to your socks and having a funky soul party.

***.5

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