2017 – Tom Craig and Soul Patch
By Phillip Smith; Feb 18, 2017
It’s obvious to see why Tom Craig and Soul Patch were chosen to represent the Central Delaware Blues Society for the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee this past January. Oozing with soul, this fabulous R&B ensemble’s tantalizing debut album, Get Ready For Me, is solid proof. Soul Patch, fronted by singer/guitarist Tom Craig has one bodaciously tight rhythm section consisting of drummer Johnny O’Connell and bassist “Rando” Randy Branning, smooth keyboard stylings of Eric Johnson on Hammond and a terrific horn section with Vince Gleason on tenor sax, and Skyler Hagner on baritone.
Tom Craig and Soul Patch deliver horn-infused soul, reminiscent of the formative music coming out of Stax Records in the Sixties with “Louita” and “How Did I Break the Rules”. I love the bluesy undertones of title track “Get Ready for Me”. Craig’s vocals are suave and commanding like Neil Diamond. His guitar licks sounds great, as they pepper Johnson’s lush keys and the smoothly blended sax riffs. Heartbreak hit, “She Did it to Me, She’ll Do it to You”, is a big tantalizing bowlful of slow bluesy soul. A captivating hook with a peppy groove steers “Captain Funk” right into my list of favorites. Craig serves up a delicious taste of Chicago blues in “Please Forgive Me Baby” with a brilliant vocal performance.
Listening to Get Ready For Me puts me in a good mood, and brings a smile to my face with every listen.