The Du-Rites - Sound Check at 6 (Recorded LIVE!) (LP)
It’s ironic that The Du-Rites (J-Zone and Pablo Martin) are already on their fourth album in three years when you consider the group began as a back burner endeavor. More ironic is the fact that the duo has become a live outfit over the past year, considering two multi-instrumentalists can’t play 2-3 instruments at the same exact time. With Jay playing drums and keys and Pablo playing guitar and also holding down keys (both of them contribute on bass guitar), it was impossible to execute The Du-Rites live on stage. So accepting the label of studio band early made it easy to crank out albums with 1960s frequency. With 2016’s eponymous debut, 2017’s Greasy Listening - ironically a tongue-in-cheek jab at their situation, dubbed a s a fake “live” album - and last year’s TV cop show score, Gamma Ray Jones, the Du-Rites had quickly and neatly carved a lane. But the time to grow beyond a studio outfit had come. And opportunity knocked.
An offer to play NYC’s prestigious Symphony Space (at The Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater) on Valentine’s Day 2019 was too sweet a gig to pass up on logistics, so The Du-Rites went back in the woodshed, adding Bill Harvey to handle bass guitar duties and Martin’s fellow Tom Tom Club member, Bruce Martin (no relation), to not only take over on keyboards, but add a whole new layer of groove by doubling up on percussion. The quartet rehearsed tirelessly through the winter of 2018-19 in preparation for Symphony Space and put together a greasy gig on Cupid Day that had folks ages 8 to 80 putting their dancing shoes on instead of spending $250 in some jive ass restaurant. Symphony Space was a giant professional leap and a whole lot of fun for the band, but to stop the roll there would put all that work and love for the stage in vain. So when Pablo and Bill dug up a filthy old mixing board with a unique sonic sheen that could capture the live show in all its greasy glory, the Du-Rites decided to hit it again for their fourth album (and first official live album), Soundcheck at 6.
The Du-Rites’ original 70 minute show was trimmed to a svelte 40 and thrown down live at the intimate, yet groovy Undisclosed Location in Brooklyn. The live renditions of their funkiest offerings give the band a chance to stretch out, improvise and even talk some stuff! Dig Jay dropping childhood anecdotes over a slow-cooking, bluesy rendition of “Neckbones” (before exploding into the real thing). Or the Afro-Cuban jam that was added to heat up “Mr. Porter”. The added percussion breakdowns in “The Man With The Golden Tooth” mesh jazz-funk with D.C. Go-Go energy. The Mannix tribute and extended drum solos kick “Showdown” up another notch and the Cumbia breakdown on “Ghetto Ferris Wheel” makes it clear the quartet version of The Du-Rites has the extra musical muscle to re-funkatize the studio releases. Both Bill and Bruce put their own personal stamps on The Du-Rites sound without subtracting from it, making Soundcheck at 6 a Cadillac brougham-tastic, cosmic excursion in neckbone funk!
2. DU THE TWITCH
4. THE CHIEF & I
5. BUG JUICE
6. MR. PORTER
7. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TOOTH
8. AMSTERDAM AVE. SUITE
9. POOKIE’S DEAD
10. GHETTO FERRIS WHEEL
12. GAMMA RAY FUNK