Hearing Aide: CBDB ‘The Fame EP’

The Fame EP

Southern “joyfunk” group CBDB recently released their EP The Fame, which melds pop and electronic jam influences to create an often warm and upbeat sound with hints of blues-rock.

Recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the four tracks were recorded in one session. The six-piece jamband includes Cy Simonton (guitar & vocals), Kris Gottlieb (guitar & vocals), Glenn Dillard (sax/keys & vocals), Donald Deloach (percussion), Paul Oliver (drums) and David Ray (bass & vocals). The album was produced by CBDB and John Gifford III, mixed and mastered by Don Srygle, with Spencer Coats acting as assistant engineer.

The first number on the EP “Ground Score,” opens with a brisk guitar riff similar to the opening riff in progressive rock group Lee Terrace’s title track “Deep Blue.” Lively guitar makes way for Simonton’s crisp Michael Jackson-esque vocals. His less poppy, southern-infused singing weaves into the instrumental groove, at points almost seeming to compete with the instrumentation, but breaking off halfway through the track to make way for a playful exchange between guitar and saxophone. The rich saxophone evokes the same horn heavy influences carried throughout the theme music of late night comedy show Saturday Night Live.

“Echoes in the Room” provides a fulfilling swell of organ that blends beautifully with blues-rock guitar and Simonton’s lyrics, creating a song that ebbs and flows in intensity, seeming more purposeful than the other more jam-based tracks. The heavier guitar in the beginning of “A1A” sets the stage for what one might expect to be a pretty standard, well-layered jam. Guess again. Simonton’s angsty, whining vocals interject in ways that don’t comfortably blend with the song, leaving this pop/rock conundrum to ooze through the speakers like a giant melty cheese ball.

The FAME EP can be found on cbdbmusic.com, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Rhapsody, Google Play, and Pandora.

Key track: Echoes in the Room