By James Calemine
Scott Bomar owns Electraphonic Studios in Memphis. Bomar composed the score for Craig Brewer’s award-winning Hustle & Flow as well as Black Snake Moan. Bomar has worked with heavies such as Jim Dickinson, Charlie Musselwhite, Al Green, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd and Sun Records pioneer Rosco Gordon.
Bomar recently won an Emmy for “Best Original Music”’ for the documentary I Am A Man: From Memphis, A Lesson in Life. The nucleus of musicians on Got To Get Back! include Bomar (bass), Skip Pitts (guitar), Howard Grimes (drums) and Hubie Turner (keys). A talented assortment of horn players pepper this album.
The Bo-Keys official site describes the band as “Kings of Memphis soul/funk/rhythm & blues who combine young hotshot players with veterans of Stax/Volt and Hi Records–are roaring back with a new album that’s deep in the pocket. Guest vocalists include Stax artist William Bell, blues great Charlie Musselwhite, soul/gospel master Otis Clay, and Percy Wiggins.”
This album was recorded with analog equipment, and the production sounds flawless. The collection opens with a Booker T & The MGs-influenced instrumental “Hi Roller”. Otis Clay’s emotive vocals on the title track resemble the pure glory of Stax Records. Member of the legendary Hi-Rhythm Section, drummer Howard Grimes, institutes a serious foundation during this horn-laced instrumental.
“Catch This Tear Drop” conjures traces of Ska music with a dose of soul–great track. “Sundown On Beale” stands as a Skip Pitts guitar-playing showcase. Pitts contributed the memorable guitar track on Shaft. Soul legend William Bell sings on the funk/soul number “Weak Spot”. “90 Days Same As Cash” clears a wide path and deep groove.
Charlie Musselwhite sings lead vocal and blows harmonica on the old tune “I’m Going Home”. Pitts sings the street-funk gem “Work That Sucker”. “Got To Get Back Pt. 2” closes this memorable album. I look forward to seeing this band in a small, dank club…