On Groove Alchemy, drummer Stanton Moore, Robert Walter (organ) and Will Bernard (guitar) serve up groove after groove. Bernard’s solos show his versatility and chops, while his rhythm work is solid as a metronome. A lot of these tunes are funk, and while Bernard’s vamps vary from song to song, it’s obvious he’s into holding down the groove. The rock-funk of “Squash Blossom” is a perfect example.
There’s no showboating here. The three simply get in and groove. Bernard can be playing a single chord or a textbook of funk licks; either way he’s a master. His solos run the gamut from old-school jazz to rock to a quiet slightly wah’ed solo (on “Neeps and Tatties”) that would make John Tropea proud.
Moore is an incredibly soulful timekeeper with stunning chops that are highlighted on every song. And he’s got the taste, after 11 songs of groove and funk, to conclude the record with a wonderful cover of “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” It’s the perfect ending.
This article originally appeared in VG’s Jul. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.