Bassist Fabrizio Grossi adds his distinctive vocals into the mix. This is definitely not a Blues/Blues-Rock album at its very heart is Soul surrounded by the roots that informes and shapes modern soul. Hunt the genre is a game you can play on this carefully crafted and curated eleven tracks that create the debut album, Counterfeited Soulstice Vol 1, by Fabrizio Gross & Soul Garage Experience.
Hooked. The opening keys are followed by harp that curls and weaves through the rhythm as the other instruments join the eparty that is going to keep you entertained. We are slaves to the Soul Garage Experience before Fab’s vocals and the backing vocals join the party. This is an infectious opening song. A song of summer shine and full with the caveat there is a price to pay. This is soul connecting with deep roots back to blues. A contemporary sound not paying homage to the past but using experience to pull the maximum from every note and word played and sung.
Now follow that…. Fabrizio and his band of musicians do just that across the following ten tracks, the use of backing vocals is superb adding warm tones and depth of emotions.
Second track in and Fabrizio’s trademark funky bass lines draw us in to ‘Right down below’. The lyrics are strong, dark and questioning. The track flows with stylish fluidity the star are the words there is a story told well you have to sit take the time and listen really listen.
Chris Henson’s Harp playing is superb, and the piercing notes cleanse the tonal shaping of I rather be wrong. This is a track that picks up on the flow and feel of the opening track. It is never ‘samey’ but the stamp of Fabrizio’s production skills give this album a connected feel the tracks stand alone but gain when listening in the round on the album from the beginning to the end.
The vocals are taken up by Diimond Weeks on Soul intervention. This is upbeat electric soul. Your feet will want to be moving. Dancing is not obligatory but your mind and body will be urging you to turn the music up loud and dance free as the music flows through your veins.
Drums from Stephen Perkins keep the tempo tamed as the vocals fly free with harp pulling them back to ground on a slinky slower number as they state Ain’t no givin’ up. The guitar work from Alastair Greene who takes over guitar duty from Derek Day on I never thought you loved me… is pure pleasure.
The mood changes with Bette Smith taking over the vocals on With or without you. This is soul magic that bounces out of the speakers with energy and full of soulful excitement. Intoxicating. Followed by the dark more introspective Shit load of sugar with a funkiness that should be played on radio stations across the world.
A shift of the gears and the direction moves with Pills, lies & thunderstorms. Darker. Slower more considered with menacing intent. Then the beat picks up with a rocky vibe from drums and bass as the menace stays lurking in the darker undergrowth.
The penultimate track, Radio is driven again by the harp as Diimond is back leading the vocals. An abiding memory of Leading into Them and me before this classy debut falls silent. This is a track that leaves you dancing wanting more, cross the speakers are silent.
The interaction between the instruments is the shining glory on the album. Derek Day guitar is hot, imaginative, controlled and wild as he weaves the chords through the rhythms and harp. In producing the album Fabrizio has used his experience and contacts to gather together musicians that add to every track. Nothing is overstated this is a prime example of musicians playing for each other squeezing out the distinctive elements of every track. Adjust their pitch, style and tone to suit the mood of each track.
Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – Soul blended with love is the summation of this contemporary genre-bending debut from Fabrizio Grossi & Soul Garage Experience
1. Slave to my rhythm
2. Right down below
3. I rather be wrong
4. Soul intervention – feat. Diimond Weeks
5. Ain’t no givin’ pp
6. I never thought that you loved me
7. With or without you – feat. Bette Smith
8. Shit load of sugar – feat. Diimond Weeks
9. Pills, lies and thunderstorm
10. Radio feat. Diimond Weeks
11. Them and me feat. Diimond Weeks
Part of Soul Garage Experience proceedings are proud to support
Music Therapy for Forces Veterans affected by PTSD
Homeless families support network
The Guitarwrist in aid of the above & Acorns
Fabrizio: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, Hammond, Moog (all Tracks)
Bette Smith: Lead Vocal (track 7)
Kenny Arinoff: Drums (track 1,6, 8, 9)
Stephen Perkins: Drums (track 3, 5, 7, 10)
AJ Morra: Drums (track 2, 4)
Herman Matthews: Drums ((track 11)
Derek Day: Guitar (track 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 10)
Serge Simic: Guitars (track 8)
Simone Sello: Guitars (track 9)
Joey Sykes: Guitars & Backing Vocals (track 11)
Alastair Greene – Slide Guitar (track 6)
Chris Henson: Harp (track 1,2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10)
Fabio Drusin: Harp & Maracas (track 5, 7)
Garrett Holbrook: Lap Steel (track 1, 9, 10)
Dylan Meek: Hammond (track 7)
Alex Alessandroni Piano & Clavy (track 1, 6)
Phil Parlapiano: Keyboards (track 11)
Francis Benitez & Andrea Grossi- Benitez: Backing Vocals (all tracks)
Diimond Meeks: Lead Vocal and ad-libs (track 1,3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11)
“Counterfeited Soulstice Vol 1”. out on September 10 2021 on all digital platforms, Amazon and in selected stores worldwide.