Recommended by N’Dambi in her recent interview for jazz-not-jazz and released on Brash Music, the label that brought us Seek’s Journey Into Day, you know - even without hearing - that this could be good record. And it is indeed a very good record.
“There’s an old-school saying that all you need to make a good song is three chords and the truth,” says Anthony “so I tried to base everything in the truth - my truth. This album comes from a very honest place.”
The truth he’s telling and he’s so much more than just a male version of Tracy Chapman or India.Arie (for whom Anthony wrote Part Of My Life) with only three chords as musical background on 3 Chords & The Truth. In fact Anthony’s music comprises elements of soul, reggae, (classic) rhythm and blues and urban.
Hailing from Savannah, Georgia and now living in Atlanta Anthony’s heritage of southern rhythm & blues can especially be heard on the slower songs with sparse orchestration like Heartstrings or the brilliant Cold Turkey. With its bluesy feeling and Anthony’s pleading vocal delivery Cold Turkey evokes memories of Bill Withers at his best.
Sticking closer to the albums title with the three chords are Cheatin’ Man and Skyline that feature just Anthony accompanying himself on guitar. Cheatin’ Man finds Anthony wearing his heart on his sleeve letting us share the trouble he has with being true.
Anthony keeps delivering the truth with the accusing Krooked Kop dedicated to victims of racism and “all who ever been pulled over for DWB (Driving While Black)“.
The live setting of the midtempo soul cut Spittin Game adds further musical variety to this album as does 50/50 Love with its reggae groove that also features Julie Dexter on vocals. GA Peach picks up the caribbean inspiration in the original version. The remix version of GA Peach is a straight ahead urban track and, alas, rather meaningless to my ears because it sounds like every other urban track out there.
So just skip this remix and you get thirteen fine songs to enjoy from a musical diverse and remarkable debut.
Tracklisting of 3 Chords & The Truth: 1. Yes/ 2. Heartstrings/ 3. Spittin’ Game/ 4. Cold Turkey /5. 50/50 Love/ 6. GA Peach/ 7. Believe Me/ 8. Ain’t Enough For Me/ 9. Cheating Me/ 10. Skyline/ 11. Part of My Life/ 12. Krooked Kop/ 13. Water/The Fire/ 14. GA Peach - (remix) | released 2004 by Brash Music
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