Bassist John Barron, now home-ported in Detroit, Michigan, offers up Moods, a pared-down-to-the-essentials, mostly quartet affair, featuring a tight guitar/bass/keyboards rhythm sound. What strikes the ear from the get-go are the deep grooves, the likeable, engaging melodies and the sharp, uncluttered delivery of the statement.
Opening this set of all-Barron-originals is "Thanks For Nothin,'" a crisp garage-rock rumination that seems meant to get the crowd up onto the dance floor. The band displays a quartet-of-equals vibe, with a mix that showcases a clean separation of instrument inputs, and a soulful and seamless group dynamic. "Tommy Boy," recalls Wes Montgomery, with Dale Grisa's keyboards injecting a light sparkle behind Kris Gurawa's guitar lines.
Barron, who has "performed with [Motown legends] The Contours" on his resume, brings a Motown Records mood into the set with"Out On Loan." The tune is an upbeat, light-hearted, happy-sounding gem.
"Consolation" introduces vocalist Jill Jack to the mix, with a dreamily beautiful ballad, and "As With All Things" adds another danceable interlude, with popping bass lines and percolating percussion.
Barron closes out the set by stepping out in front, playing an inward-looking melody with a gorgeous, ringing tone, wrapping up the bright and straight-through engaging package with style and grace.
Thanks For Nothin'; Tommy Boy; Moods; Out On Loan; Consolation; As With All Things; Giving In; Figment; Ours To Shape.
John Barron: upright and electric bass; Dale Grisa: keyboards (1-5, 7, 8); Kris Kurzawa: guitar: 1-3, 5, 7, 8); Ron Pangborn: drums (1-5, 7, 8); Sven Anderson: keyboard (6); Larry Fratangelo: percussion (6); Jil Jack: vocals (5).