boombox – visions of backbeat

Every now and then an album like this pops up that appeals to so many of my musical sensibilities all at once that I am left to wonder how it slipped past my nets.  I mean, I listen to a lot of stuff!  Like…tons!

But slip past Boombox did, although only by a few years which is nothing in musical time.  “Visions of Backbeat” dropped in 2004, so I wasn’t too far off, but what singer/songwriter Zion Godchaux and producer/DJ Russ Randolf came up with is pretty transcendent.

They originally met while working on the Heart of Gold Band album “At the Table.”  Zion is the son of Keith and Donna Godchaux (who formed Heart of Gold Band) who were an integral part of the Grateful Dead during some of my favorite Dead years.  Soon after meeting with Russ though, the two had formed Boombox and started recording in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The area itself is known as a hotbed of American roots music, and some of those sounds definitely find their way into Boombox’s music…but that isn’t all.

To try and label this music as any lone genre is pretty much impossible, because the duo have incorporated so much into their work.  Hip hop, rock and roll, psychedelic, blues,electronic and jam band roots all seem to float in and out of every track with ease.  All with that deep funky back beat.   Unique is the only word that comes to mind.  Uniquely American.

In my head, I can’t help thinking American rock/St Germain.

Their first big hit “Stereo” was one of the big stand outs on this album, but don’t go thinking that that is all there was.  This baby is as  solid as concrete.

I haven’t had a chance to catch them live yet, but that is now on my short term bucket list since I hear they put on a hell of a show.  If you like what you hear here, I also recommend their new album “Downriverelectric” which includes this bitchin’ version of “Shakedown Street.”

Check their website HERE.

Download the whole she-bang at Amazon for $8!  Bargain!


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