Regardless of the musical genre, I tend to gravitate
toward musicians who are established “commodities,”
or who have garnered enough attention to have been
signed by a well-known record label. I don’t mean to
snub talented, unknown artists; it’s merely a matter of
expediency. Given my ever-expanding interests and
tastes, and limited to a 24-hour day, I simply don’t
have enough time to check out everything that comes
my way. Therefore, I’ve had to be somewhat selective.
But every “rule” has its exceptions, and the
self-produced debut album of The Green Almighty
entitled, “Drink Me Down,” was well worth hearing.
For me, it presented a challenge, simply because of my
tendency (conscious or unconscious) to ascertain the
style of a group and thereby compare it with more
famous groups, in an effort to “categorize” their
music. After hearing the 13 tracks on this disc, I was
faced with many different conclusions.
For example, the cheeky attitude of the opening track,
“Big City Girl,” had a type of “alternative Grunge” feel,
whereas as a song like “Mr. Cannonball” struck me as a
“sing-along, drinking song.” The penultimate track,
“You’d Better Know,” featured some nice vocal harmonies,
and Patrick Eck on acoustic guitar provided “El Baile” with
Spanish inflections. There were also Jazz harmonies and
plenty of Funk, here and there.
In short, “Drink Me Down” is a diverse album, with a
wealth of musical styles. Clearly, vocalist T.J. Neighbors
is charismatic and talented, while the aforementioned
Patrick Eck is an able axe-man on both acoustic and
electric instruments. Of course, their efforts wouldn’t
amount to much without solid rhythmic foundations,
and bass guitarist Ray Burke and drummer Charles Eck
(Patrick’s brother) provide that and more.
Despite the lack of major label attention, the cover art,
engineering and overall sound quality are surprisingly
good. Based upon my first hearing, I believe that
The Green Almighty can easily compare with certain
more “established” groups. Here’s hoping that they get
the recognition and “break” that they deserve!