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9.2.09

Hybrid Groove




Hybrid Groove - Just About Feeling - 2008 - Hybrid Groove Productions

Blues inspired and rock born, lead singer Amy Savage sends an emotional explosion of music through to her audience. Matched in the group is fellow front person Ken Lettich, who could be growling out powerful guitar riffs or blowing a feel good harmonica. © cdbaby.com

Good straight rockin' power blues rock from Hybrid Groove. The album has many good cover versions, and hopefully future releases will include more original band material. Amy Savage has a great voice, and is backed by tremendously talented and obviously very experienced nusicians. A good rocker from Hybrid Groove, and it would be worthwhile to check on future releases by this band.

TRACKS

1 Jack
2 Mother Nature
3 Matchstick
4 Downhearted Blues
5 Summertime
6 Just About Feeling
7 Stormy Monday
8 Missing Me
9 Greyscale
10 Born Under A Bad Sign
11 Swamp Queen

BAND

Amy Savage - Lead Vocals
Ken Lettich - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Joe "Cleanhead" Buscema - Guitar
Chris Cousin - Bass
Jim Wegener - Drums

REVIEW

This is the self-released debut-CD by the Florida-based 5-piece Hybrid Groove, who actually have been around since 2000. Fronted by singer Amy Savage and guitarist/harp player Ken Lettich, the band started out as an acoustic unit before adding guitarist Joe “Cleanhead” Buscema, bass player Christian Cousin and drummer Jim Wegener. Today the band is far more electrified, playing a loud and no-frills blues, flavored by rock, funk and soul. Savage is your archetypical powerhouse blues belter, following the path of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and Koko Taylor. She developed an interest for gospel early on, and that surely has influenced her passionate, high-voltage, singing style. The guys in the band are all competent players, and everybody sounds locked in like the kind of band that has been doing a lot of regional gigs and festivals. I can imagine Hybrid Groove being a really solid live band, with a lot of energy and Savage pumping up the crowd with her power vocals. On record – and I better choose my words carefully since this is a debut CD from an unsigned band - it would have been great if the dynamics and performances had more variety… that there were a greater span of emotions expressed. Savage can definitely sing and apply the attitude of a Joplin or a Turner. But that power would have so much more of an impact if she also could express vulnerability - simply a greater range of emotions instead of limiting herself to just belting. Sometimes singers can indulge themselves too much in the sheer power of their instrument, and lose the connection to the lyrics – the telling of the story instead of just singing the melodies. Hybrid Groove chooses to cover not only one, but three, really over-played standards in the blues book: “Born Under A Bad Sign”, “Stormy Monday” and “Summertime.” Their arrangements of these songs are not personalized in any way. As a singer in this day and age, if you want to sing lines like “I can’t read, I never learned how to write” or “fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high,” you’ve got to ask yourself what these words mean to you… how do you relate? You have to find your personal connection to the words and not just belt the songs out. In their original songs, Hybrid Groove have some pretty cool ideas, like the changes of groove in “Matchstick,” and a great riff in “Swamp Queen.” Developing a personal sound is the hardest thing to do for a musician and band, besides staying together. But Hybrid Groove definitely are ready and able to take that next step on their musical journey, since they’re all great players and have an obvious chemistry and locked-in feel. For now, this disc should be a great way for the band to secure more gigs and get the word out about them. It does live up to its title… I’d just like to see a broader palette of feelings being expressed, and a more personal take on blues classics that already have been covered by an infinite number of people. © Nikki Oneill, © www.illinoisblues.com 2007

BIO

Hybrid Groove began in 2000 as just a side musical project for an army brat born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Amy Savage. Blues inspired and rock born, Amy sends an emotional explosion of music through to her audience. Matched in the group is fellow front person Ken Lettich, who could be growling out powerful guitar riffs or blowing a feel good harmonica solo depending on which he feels most passionate on at the moment. Ken’s also been known to grab the microphone a time or two whether it be backing Amy or taking center stage. The duo has fronted Hybrid Groove now for over five years and played several varieties of venues in the Raleigh area of North Carolina before recently heading to St Petersburg, Florida to pursue sunshine, beaches, and the blues community that thrives there. It was there they met up with seasoned guitarist Joe "Cleanhead" Buscema whose clean soulful sound complements Ken's style. Also the group added Chris Cousin, a diverse bassist who would complete the band's unique sound matched with a dynamic drummer, Jim Wegener. The band since has been based on rhythmic heart-wrenching blues renditions and originals presented in both gusty, in-your-face electric sets and more intimate, traditional acoustic sets. In this way they have been able to provide a fresh look to a style that has survived decades and influenced many. © cdbaby.com

5 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

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shellg said...

Thanks so much for all the great music you post!

A.O.O.F.C said...

How are you,shellg? Iv'e not heard from you in ages. TVM for comment, and I'm very happy you enjoy the music. Keep in touch with me

Anonymous said...

Nice...This is my music.
Thanks a lot.
ElPasoSugar.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi!ElPasoSugar. How are you? Haven't heard from you in a while. Yes, the album's a good one. Thanks for comment, & keep in touch!