Review: “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King,” Dave Matthews Band
I became an instant fan of the Dave Matthews Band when I heard their first album in the mid-90s, but quickly soured on them after the third album. It all started sounding the same and became quite boring. However, my attitude has changed completely after listening to their excellent new disc, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Try saying that ten times fast.
The death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore earlier this year is felt throughout the 13 songs that were recorded in New Orleans with producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day’s American Idiot). Moore was one of the band’s co-founders who helped propel the band to superstardom with tunes that included elements of jazz, funk, and rock. His loss is monumental, but before he left this earth, he contributed to what, in my opinion, is the band’s second best album.
He appropriately starts off the disc with “Grux,” which leads nicely into the ultra-funky, lust-driven “Shake Me Like A Monkey.” The standout track is “Why I Am,” a rockin’ tune where Matthews dreams about life “still dancing here with the GrooGrux King” (Moore). This will be a big hit with the young hippies who like to get high and dance around like morons at DMB shows. He searches out God for answers in “Time Bomb,” which sounds like an Under the Table and Dreaming outtake, “Funny the Way It Is” is a catchy first single, and the band’s songwriting skills really shine on the tender love song, “You and Me.”
Tragedy can either tear people apart or bring them closer than they ever were before. It’s the latter for the Dave Matthews Band who honored Moore in the best way musicians can … by writing and producing great music.
You can stream the entire album while it’s available at Spinner.com.