Artist: Eric Skye Acoustic Groove Trio
Album: Slow Moving Dog
Label: Half Dimished Rrecords
Genre: Acoustic jazz
Sounds Like: Eric Skye Acoustic Groove Trio
Technical Grade: 910
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Swoop, Lemon Merengue, One for Green
Weakness: Beside Jazz also brings to the table R&B & swing rock elements
Portland guitarist Eric Skye & his acoustic Groove Trio release Slow Moving Dog in 2010. The trio consists of Eric Skye guitar, Brian Casey – Double Bass & Bruce Robertson – Drums. Eric describes this music as acoustic Jazz.
Logging in at just over 57 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Happy Cake” a slamming acoustical piece that serves up impressive acoustic guitar solos & melodies against the conservative 3 piece backdrop of drums & stand up bass. The CD makes a great first impression & literally grabs our attention with it’s up close & personal live feel.
Track 2 “Color TV keeps things moving in the same direction with more full tilt guitar chops, driving rhythm, & hooky bass lines. Track 3 “Bridgetown Shuffle” serves up walking bass lines, against drum grooves that push the natural accent perfectly with more mesmerizing acoustic guitar from Skye. The CD makes a great first impression, providing 3 solid musical experiences in arrow during the first 15 minutes of play. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very conservative in nature, with crystal clear sound quality & a sold live feel to it. I would classify this music as acoustical jazz that is delivered in classic jam band fashion. The music itself goes down smooth, & fills the sonic space with what I would describe as peaceful tranquility with all the excitement of a live performance. The musicianship though extremely conservative provides a lot of musical variety, & make no bones about it - this band is rock solid. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments, showcasing impressive chops, solid low end grooves, & rhythms & chord progression that are expensive & hot to the touch. I was entertained the entire time. That’s not easy to pull off as a 3 piece – so it’s quite impressive that this 3 piece can hold you attention span quite well for over 57 minutes. Drummer Bruce Robertson pushes the natural accents well & delivers mostly R&B style beats. Bassist Brian Casey lays down the bottom end groove with several impressive bass solos to boot. Finally Eric Skye’s playing just makes the whole thing work as he provides the perfect balance between melody, sizzling chops & a strong musical variety. From upbeat - North Wes, to swinging “It’s Beach” & One for Green” to slow moving “Stickman” & “Slow Moving Dog” to dynamic “Self Portrait in Blue” to slamming “Swoop” & “Lemon Merengue” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone.
Calling this music Acoustic Jazz – well the fact that the word Jazz is used here we must hold this music to the utmost highest of standards. No doubt the bar is set high for artists like Skye when we throw around that word - Jazz. Having said that it’s fair to say the drumming is a bit rock oriented to be called Jazz drumming. Most rhythms are pretty basic & straight forward. It’s almost as if a rock drummer is jamming with a Jazz geriatrist & stand up bass player. Because of this the catalogue it’s more a combination of rhythm & blues with brilliant flashes of acoustic Jazz & swinging rock grooves.
After spending 57 minutes with Eric Skye & Acoustic Groove Trio it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more & more impressed with the production as a whole. Make no bones about it, these cats can play. What I like most about the CD is its live feel to it. Most people will agree live performances pack a powerful punch – this CD captures Lightning in a Bottle. Slow Moving Dog is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalogue period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of the Eric Skye & his Trio are both amazing & will keep you entertained. Eric – you made the right choice recording it twice.