Laura Reed & Deep Pocket Live at Tree Sound Studios

Laura Reed & Deep Pocket Live at Tree Sound Studios
Live at Tree Sound Studios should have been Laura Reed and Deep Pocket's debut release. 2007's Soul:Music was a fine effort but it was lacking a few things: namely funk and urgency. Live rectifies matters, showcasing why this unit have become an in-demand draw on the live circuit. The main reason is Reed, a truly accomplished soul music vocalist in the mould of Erykah Badu or Jill Scott, with a bit of Teena Marie's blue-eyed style thrown into the mix. She has the chops to carry Deep Pocket's lofty mix of reggae, soul, funk and her new age musings with earthy credibility. There's nary a bad, or even mediocre, track on Live but the true standouts are "Gotta Pay The Man," a bluesy slab of throbbing fatback funk and "Thank You," which joins the Spinners' "I Could Never (Repay Your Love)" and Angie Stone's "Life Goes On" as one of the most pleasant break-up songs ever recorded. As an added bonus, there's a 45-minute DVD included in this package that has some interesting backstage featurettes and some nice performance footage. If you're looking for conscious, positive and downright good funky music, Live at Tree Sound Studios is a must-hear. (Independent)