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The Liberators: The Liberators

Mark F. Turner By

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Track review of "Rags To Riches"

The long arms of Fela Kuti and James Brown have stretched down under, with the debut of this Australian funk group's self-titled debut. Based in Sydney, The Liberators effectively rock the house, funk it up, and throw down some sweating dance music in venues and concerts, paying homage to jazz, funk, and Afrobeat.

"Rags To Riches" is a throwback to the soundtracks of 1970s Blaxploitation films such as Shaft (1971). The tune's groove is fueled by a deadly rhythm section, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker-like horns vamps, and that signature wah-wah guitar riff that's got the right amount of elasticity. The sounds of percussion and gritty organ dance under the covers, as the band's tight musicianship delivers a track like the iconic phrase used to describe Shaft's main protagonist. In other words: it's a "bad mutha (shut yo' mouth!)" Ya dig?

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