MINIMALIST riffs and Delta bluesy broadsides, exuberant but ascetic percussions, dirty soul keyboard gallop, gravy-sweet and painfully alluring vocals - interspersed with an ethereal cadence that sways with the vibe than rolls with the beat. It’s the sort of subdued but insistent collective, rock ‘n groove aura that I longed to experience in my previous visit to the Rainbow Gathering in the Shenandoahs. Sadly, I didn’t get it there.
PHUNCLE SAM is, obviously, still in the process of strengthening their body of collective work. That shouldn’t be a problem. These working man’s blues brothers could play to a crowd of two rowdy souls in the universal intimacy of a dairy farm, no problemo. When you play, they will come-and they will keep on playing, yes, from dusk till dawn, come rain or shine. These guys have gathered enough musical moss and spiritual wisdom-not through age and gut, certainly-but through a journeyman’s tales of such beautiful gifts as summer rain, leaves of grass, and gorgeous women on perpetually swaying hips of god-given grace. These amigos make us re-experience heavenly places even though we haven’t really gone there. All it takes is a vibe “with a Ph factor.” Whatever that means, it must be working good inside us. It’s all because Phuncle Sam makes us remember. [www.phunclesam.com]