Space Cadet by Damon Wood of James Brown Band

While difficult to hang a genre on this coaster, it’s hard not to like the musical product of James Brown axeman Damon Wood and company.

Wood struts his road-tested guitar stuff on Space Cadet and demonstrates creative songwriting ability from track to track, weaving funk, blues, reggae, soul and psychedelia into a musical throw rug that recalls classics such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Billy Preston, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins and even Jimmy Herring.

Despite these mostly dated influences, the music feels fresh, with a personality all its own.

Keywork by Chad Aman (also of Denver’s Cocktail Revolution and Byron Shaw Projex) simmers and shines throughout, while bass ace Jack Alterman keeps the low end tight as a new pair of loafers.

The disc goes out with a bang, not a whimper, stringing together four solid butt-kickers: “Gimme Gimme,” “Only True Friend,” “Magic” and “Luster.”

Bouncing between psychedelia, funk, blues, jazz and reggae, Junk’s guitar-driven sound is tight, even when venturing on flights of improvisational fancy.

“We try to keep it sort of old-school,” Wood says. “Just musicians. No DJs. No tracks. Just an organic setup that allows us to stretch out, but also something that’s danceable and that’s boogieable. We’re looking to create that mix that entertains people but also entertains us. And we try to appeal to people of all ages, whether they’re fifteen or fifty.”

visit www.harmoniousjunk.com

This review originally appeared on www.JamBase.com, an online chronicle of jam music and its off-shoots.

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