Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some Australian soul - Cookin' on 3 Burners

After all the hype and hullabaloo of the past few days, and all the manic rush leading up to it, it's kind of nice to be able to spend today lazing around, chilling, and grooving away to some great funk/soul. There can hardly be better music to do that to than an album that I bought only a few days ago but which I have heard promoted and praised on 3PBS a great deal over the past couple of months - Soul Messin' by Cookin' on 3 Burners.

Cookin' on 3 Burners is an Australian funk trio, with guitar and drums and Hammond organ, and their music seems to somehow capture the soul of a summer-sodden country - the sort of music that is impossible to listen to without reaching for a beer, and feeling that you have been catapaulted back to the 60s, where rhythms and melodies swing and groove and nothing that happens in the world seems all that bad.

Mostly instrumental, but occasionally joined by vocalist Kylie Audlist or Fallon Williams, the music of Soul Messin' has that sort of authenticity to it that always feels new and honest and vibrant. It would be hard for a bad day to not beome a good day when you listen to music like this.

I'm still not entirely sure where the boundaries between soul and funk and blues are drawn but, in any event, they seem to be deliberately blurred here, so you feel that you are indulging in all three at once - the flattened tonality of blues, the catchy handclapping rhythm of soul, the smoothed-out tones and harmonies of funk, all coalescing here into music that feels like it belongs to the summer and to a world where hustle and bustle just don't have a place.

Every track on this album makes you feel good. But, if I could only take one track with me to my desert island, it would be 'Dog Wash', where the Hammond organ is just so irresistably laid-back, the beat syncopated in a way that makes you feel that this is how rhythm was always meant to be and that anything different would be unnatural and distorted, and a melody line that could convince even my own dogs, who hate the bath, that a bath is fun.

The album finishes with 'The Proving Ground' - much more subdued than anything else, lulling you into a wistful, nostalgic sleep, with a steady uncomplicated beat, and some fantastic guitar work that seems to almost be weeping for a world that has been left behind, like music playing as a tribute to its own memory.

It's a shame, really, that we can't all spend our lives cookin' on 3 burners because Soul Messin' certainly puts a convincing argument for living life exactly like that.

Thanks, as always, to PBS for the excellent music!

No comments:

Post a Comment