Down Home Southernaires

Down Home Southernaires were at one point known as Pygmy, and as Pygmy, they were great. As DHS, they are even better. Imagine some country-fried soul R&B in the vein of Hialeah's pride Coke (the band!) mixed with Clarence Reid's "Blowfly" high jinks. Add Elastic Bond's eclectic Dashiki express and throw in some of Philip Bailey's Earth, Wind & Fire peaks.

There is some serious craftsmanship here. Levels are of the high order and the gonads get rustled honestly. José Castello rocks the keys and the vocals while Kristopher Pabon and Max Johnston duel on the guitars over the solid backbone of Jarrett Hann's bass and Jorge Rubiera's drums. Edward Adames lends effects and tambourine sensibilities throughout. While the organic musings are on point, it's the little Casio-tones and loops that give the album its carnivalesque feel and allow listeners to buckle away without restraint.

"Otro Sur (Sagan Samba)" and "Israelis on the Beach" bring the Brazilian sound into the Miami funk fold. "Sex Itself" and "Anthro-Apology" hand you a Marshal's baton during Trinidad & Tobago's finest parade. "Let's Fall in Love with Each Other" licks at the lips of The Clash with a stripped feel only people a few shades darker than these boys could have. Great album. Great songs. Let's all go and get laid tonight.


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