2017 – Memphis Grease
By Phillip Smith; May 9, 2017
Feelin’ Freaky, the latest release from John Nemeth is a brilliant collage of heady blues-rich soul music taking a smidge of liberty to poke fun at society and embrace those on the edge. Recorded at the Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, Mississippi and Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee with his touring band, the Blue Dreamers (guitarist Johnny Rhoades, bassist Matthew Wilson, drummer Danny Banks) under the direction of Grammy-nominated producer Luther Dickenson, the album certainly has its share of the Bluff City woven into its DNA.
Nemeth addresses the topic of gun violence in America while blasting a wall of lush poppy horn-infused soul in “Under the Gun”. I can’t help but think of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground while this terrific anthem rolls out the speakers. He crushes it on title track “Feelin’ Freaky” a funky jewel with a driving riff and creamy contagious hook. Nemeth breaks out a briefcase full of blues harp to top off the dance-friendly groove on “Get Offa Dat Butt”. This is a fun one for sure.
Capturing the sweet soul Stax sounds of the early Seventies, Nemeth unleashes a smoking smooth vocal performance on “Rainy Day” a song of regret and heartbreak. He nails it down again in “Long Black Cadillac”. The song is heavy and beautiful.
Nemeth continues to keep a unique edge applied to his music, never failing to engage the listener with fresh funky grooves drenched in old-school soul. That’s exactly what I love about this album.