Baby Charles

Baby Charles

Baby Charles’ 2008 eponymous debut has garnered many comparisons to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings because of their ability to recreate bygone deep-funk as spot-on as Jones and company’s penchant for rebirthing old-school R&B. “Treading Water” opens with a complex groove bolstered by some impressive drumming as the British ensemble’s androgynous front-woman Dionne Charles croons like a young Shuggie Otis. “Invisible” follows with an infectiously groovy guitar sounding like the band recorded with the Meters in 1971. They tap into that mysterious style of playing where their otherworldly musicianship and vacuum-tight rhythm section makes everything somehow sound loose and juicy, especially on the instrumental “Comin’ from a Higher Place” where vintage guitar tones, a saucy horn section, rootsy Hammond B3 organ, and some stellar drumming create a groove on par with late ‘70s blaxploitation film scores. “Life’s Begun” slightly simmers down to boogie on a slow-burning groove as the guitars turn up and distort to compete with heavy organ grinds and Charles wailing soulfully over some Mitch Mitchell-inspired beats.

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