When we introduced Funk ‘N’ Stein a few months ago, we drew comparisons to the classic horn bands of the 70?s like EW&F and Tower of Power. For their encore, “Always,” this Tev Aviv octet of soul masters draws water from a deeper, quieter well.
Two of our favorite acoustic soul singers, Johnny Bristol and Bill Withers, immediately came to mind when we gave Funk ‘N’ Stein’s “Always” its very first spin. We hear the recently-departed master, Gil Scott-Heron, too, as well as the mellower side of Michael Franti.
We love how the band bridges the acoustic opener — recorded on a back porch somewhere — with the studio groove in the middle bars, a vibe that calls to mind some of Chicago‘s classic mellow grooves of the mid 70?s. Then it’s back to the back porch for the closing bars of “Always,” injecting a touch of the wonderful Terry Callier into the mix.
Reminding us that they are on a “funky mission and they will not stop ’til we all be saved,” we say, “Hallelujah brothers!”
This review originally appeared on MP3.com