Hailing from Leeds, The New Mastersounds bring with their formidable career a life long love of the instrumental sound of The Meters, Booker T and the MG’s plus many of highly regarded funk bands from the 60’s and 70’s. Back in 2003 the band teamed up with a little known soul singer in the form of Corine Bailey Rae before she scored big winning a Grammy, on their Be Yourself long player. This new vinyl release comes with a bonus collectors 45 all released via King Underground.
The album kicks off with This Aint Work as the band ease into that familiar B3 organ groove, chugging guitar, tin hat break beat drums and firm warm bass touches. Your Love Is Mine has a 70’s rare groove feel with a warm scented organ before Rae enters the ring to fight off all competition with a sweet soul vocal, a real talent is on show here, marvellous. Be Yourself does little but natter and bug you to get up on the dancefloor until you succumb to its seductions. Better Off Dead has a full on sitar, Ananda Shankar plays a mean funk virtuoso solo, might mean and funky.
What is also on show here is similarities to the king of organ library music Alan Hawkshaw and his band The Mohawks, You’ve Had It All exhibits this clearly to satisfactory results. There’s a slight break from the funk with Barca, a slower acoustic samba, jazz feel with an almost skiffle drum beat whilst some enchanting Rhodes keyboards keeps the walls nice and toasty. Whilst the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint weighing all the options up at the end of listening to this collection, the results equate to something of a gem, nothing short of a fantastic funk free for all.
Be Yourself can be purchased via the following link