CBDB – Joyfunk is Dead
This is some darn funky stuff. Cbdb are a six piece from Tuscaloosa, Alabama whose name is an acronym I’m trying to decipher. Honestly, it makes me think of CBGB. Is the name a play on the famous acronym named jazz/funk turned punk club CBGB? It wouldn’t surprise me. Cbdb facetiously titled their soon to be released sophomore album, Joyfunk is Dead. Just as the Cbdb are a band packed tight with members, Joyfunk Is Dead hyper presents a creative sound the band have mastered. The new album is stuffed to the gills with visionary and entertaining music that will make you want to move your feet.
I don’t need to waste time getting caught up in the details of Cbdb’s name because there are more important things going on, so much going on on this album I don’t even know where to start. First off, Cy Simonton’s vocals toggle between a soulful Stevie Wonder blended with the mainstream accessibility of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. Tracks like “Emperor” and “My Time” are expert examples.
Musical arrangements are funk, soul jazz jam freak outs. Even when Cbdb slow down, they don’t stop grooving. Every track is a tightly arranged jam out that meanders with a loose spontaneity, but each song’s structure allows a sussinct conclusion in the same way many The Grateful Dead songs do. The bumbling and jiving allows ample time to let loose, dance around but still feel the music circle back over you with a sense of closure. Cbdb are known for improvisation during their live performances. This is very exciting because they have a sax player. I’m a fan of sax. Alright, it’s also exciting because it means no two performances will be the same. A band with as much going on in each track as Cbdb have going on in Joyfunk Is Dead means some pretty awesome stuff will transpire on stage, as it probably has already.
Cbdb describe themselves as progressive and fresh and I couldn’t agree more. Joyfunk Is Dead captures that jam band college vibe of Phish or The Dead as well as a pop alternative Dave Matthew’s Band sensibility. Much like Dave Matthew’s vocals carry his band, Cy Simonton’s seal the deal for Cdbd and both bands offer the suspense of improved performances when they play live. Their album title might be facetious, but Cbdb very much prove that their genre invention joyfunk remains very much alive with Joyfunk Is Dead.
Review by Jennifer Bress