I have to start off by saying this had a fun factor built in right from the cover artwork down to the music itself. I spent a good couple of minutes grinning at the cover, adorned with cartoon characters of the players and a party of folks having a cookout.
The team of organist Ron Pedley and guitarist Jon Pondel provides a funky backbone to this set of funk, acid, jazz and R&B flavored cuts. The record hits you with straight forward guitar/organ grooves, and Pondel’s blues-flavored lines reminded me somewhat of Jeff Golub’s recent work; not too smooth, not to smoky; right in between the listening ladder and fit for contemporary jazz or mainstream (without the cheese factor).
The record takes some interesting twists and turns with the addition of guest vocals on tracks such as "Stoned Soul Picnic", and a horn section on "Cookin’ Out". I got some serious groove vibes from tracks such as "Simmer Down" (funky bass line courtesy of Matt Bissonette), and "Hush", which swings into the R&B with a slow deep groove and guest vocals courtesy of Sharon Hendrix.
Pedley and Podel, project’s core orchestrators, have successfully created a mood that speaks part contemporary jazz, part funk, part acid jazz and part R&B. For anyone looking for a groove to work by, or something different, this record definitely accomplishes it all, and if you’re up to it, can prove to be an interesting departure from the ordinary without abandoning any of your favorite flavors.