Lots of folks think Golub’s playing has grown a little too slick and “smooth” for its own good. You might agree, but to me, his playing has such a groove it’s impossible to not like it.
You might know Golub as a rocker, given his stints with Billy Squier and Rod Stewart, or his Avenue Blue smooth jazz records. After a number of solo records, he’s now on Narada Jazz, and has produced another funky, soulful record that far outshines the competition.
Musically, Golub tips the cap to another musician who took heat for making “commercial” records – Wes Montgomery – on “On The Wes Side.” It’s a bluesy ballad with nice octave work and, like most of these songs, a melody that lingers for days. The slinky guitar solo on the nasty funk of “Take Me Home” is the perfect example of what Golub does best. It’s bluesy, it’s soulful, it’s greasy, but clean as hell. He’s the only guitarist I know who can mix up all those elements and make it sound “smooth.” Another perfect example is “Simple Pleasures.” After the horns join him to state the melody, he gives a funk-heaven clinic. There are numerous guitar parts here to enjoy, including big-time chordal work.
If you’re familiar with Golub, you’ll love this. If you’re not a fan, give it a shot and see if he doesn’t stand head-and-shoulders above the other guitarists recording this type of music right now.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.