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The Mighty Soul Drivers I’ll Carry You Home

The Mighty Soul Drivers
I’ll Carry You Home

The Mighty Soul Drivers are a seven-piece band made up of: Bob Orsi on vocals and rhythm guitar; River City Slim – whose parents know him as Peter Rost – on drums; Larry Willey on guitar; Tony Delisio on bass; Steve Donovan on keyboards; John Smayda on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones; and Neil Tint on trumpet and fluegelhorn.

In celebration of their tenth anniversary, The Mighty Soul Drivers have just released their second album. It’s titled I’ll Carry You Home and it’s a collection of seven originals and four covers. For the project, the band is joined by: Dayna Snell; Aaleya Hardy; Kim M Hawk; Tanairy Barton; and Denise Powell on background vocals; and special guests Paul Gabriel and Michael St. George on guitar.

The title track, an original called “I’ll Carry You Home”, lives up to its title in so many comforting ways. Hearing lyrics such as: “If you find yourself in trouble and your burden is too much to bear, don’t hesitate to call, baby I’ll be there……; or “When you’re tired out and the world’s about to break your heart, call me day or night and I will take your part. You don’t need to fight your battles all alone. You know I got you baby; I’ll carry you home”; if you’re the person they’re meant for, that kind of support has got to already have you feeling good. Between the lyrics, the heartfelt lead and background vocals, and the hand claps, calling this a hymn is not at all reaching. Musically, the band is in an equally glorious groove.

Another original titled “A Little Bit of That”, is a funky dance floor filling number that features Bob getting down ala James Brown on the vocals. That said, the instrumental highlights being passed around makes it the perfect track for some band recognition. The heavy rhythm River City Slim and Tony are hammering out is a perfect set up for: Paul’s edgy guitar leads; the brawny sax and trumpet leads of John and Neil; and a monstrous organ run by Steve. Strong song indeed.

Name everyone who covered this song and I’ll give you a thousand dollars. Exactly, you can’t. However, I’ll not dare say name everyone who covered this song and nailed it, because that is a select few. That said, I’m now adding The Mighty Soul Drivers to that short list. On “Cry to Me” (Bert Russell), The Mighty Soul Drivers did just that. Let me say that again – The Mighty Soul Drivers nailed their rendition of “Cry to Me”! After listening twice to support what I needed to say about the performance, I swear I gave this one several more replays just to sit back and listen. Wow! Wow! Wow! Thank you Bob Orisi, I’d have to dig deep into my abundant music collection to find a song sung with so much emotion.

“Piece of My Pride” addresses the items involved in a breakup settlement. It seems that Bob has no problem letting her have his house and his Cadillac car, but it seems to be a struggle getting her to let him keep a piece of his pride. This original is a swinger and is highlighted by fabulous honky-tonk piano playing from Steve and baritone sax leads from John.

If Etta is listening, The Mighty Soul Drivers’ rendering of “Tell Daddy” (Carter/Terrell/Daniel), she’s unquestionably dancing up a storm up there. This is by far the band’s most relentless effort.

The disc closes with another of the band’s original tracks titled “Dressed to Kill”. Believing in ZZ Top’s theory that every girl is crazy about a sharp-dressed man, this is a tale of how Bob likes to strut his stuff in his sharkskin jacket, slacks to match, Italian shoes and his fly hat with his target being younger women. However, unlike that other sharp dressed man, Bob’s also accessorized with a rap so smooth that the ladies can’t wait to hear it. If his game is as good as his claim, I’m liking his odds. Very soulful vocals; Great horn infused dance rhythm; and lots of snappy finger snapping.

Other excellent tracks on the very well-done disc include: “I Can’t Get Next to You” (Whitfield/Strong); “Party by The Tower”; “I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog” (Price/Walsh/Bari/Omartian); “Cold Cold Night”; and “Parking Lot Blues”.

Should you like to find out more about The Mighty Soul Drivers, just go to their website – www.themightysouldrivers.com. – Peter “The Blewzzman” Lauro

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