Friday 24 January 2020

'Grease Trap' by DLG 3

Soul music has long had a rich legacy of crafting timeless masterpieces - masterpieces that go on to be celebrated by future generations as commentary surrounding our world's socio and political climate consistently ring true.  We've highlighted Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On?' before as a question that we're perhaps forever destined - and damned - to pose of the world around us.  But of these classic soul recordings, from masters including Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott-Heron, their music is also forever open to interpretation.  Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' has an excellent passage discussing what it means to be a god in the eyes of others but is also an incredibly apt observation when considering the impact that great art has on people as well: "It means that everyone gets to re-create you in their own minds [...] You're a thousand aspects of what people need you to be. And everyone wants something different from you."

Great cover versions offer distinctly different and unique takes on the music that served as the initial inspiration, and for the DLG 3 collective of musicians, their debut full-length 'Grease Trap' offers really exciting takes on soul music's classics.  Boasting a strong selection of Hammond organ inspired compositions, the New York City based team of drummer Mike DeConzo, guitarist John Lynch and organists Greg Lewis and William Gorman present their eight track selection which sees them dip into the catalogue of some of the greats.

The Crusaders & Randy Crawford's 'Street Life', Bobby Womack's 'Across 110th Street', War's 'The World is a Ghetto' and Stevie Wonder's 'Living For The City' are all songs that offer a very different take on city and street life, with some specifically revolving around the band's home of New York City.  Each depicts a different aspect from unemployment to street hustling to racism, as mentioned before, all perspectives of city life that ring true for people nearly fifty years after some of these songs' original release.

While this aspect of social commentary is the core of 'Grease Trap', an affectionate take on Aretha Franklin's 'Until You Come Back to Me' serves as a nice touch as do the band's original compositions like the band's excellent second single, the near eight minute 'Lomy's Homies' which features guest Larry Bustamante from the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra on baritone sax.

'Grease Trap' serves as something of a love letter to soul's icons as much as it perhaps is to New York itself.  The music here is lovingly recreated and a real treat and the original tracks really display DLG 3's talents which hopefully we'll have the chance to fully experience as they are revealed over future projects.

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