The name Willie Basse might be familiar. He was part of the Los Angeles band Black Sheep, which also happened to feature drummer Randy Castillo.
Now, Willie has a new album (under his own name) called The Money Grind. Considering our current economic situation, I can't think of a better title. The very first time I listened to Willie Basse I immediately thought of my friend Sean. He loves funk and soul and rock - and the mash-up of all three. That's exactly what you get on The Money Grind.
Willie Basse is a great bass player - so it's no surprise funk is big here. Still, Basse has his roots in the 80s Metal scene, so the album comes off as a sort of quasi classic rock. I really like "Po' Boy" with its reggae influences. Listening to such songs make me think I'm on vacation - even if I'm stuck in a cubicle in Ohio.
"Don't Waste My Time" is also a strong track - and you can listen to this one of the official Myspace.
Basse himself is a bit of a jack of all trades. Not only does he play bass but he also writes all his songs and engineers/produces his work. That said, Willie Basse may have been better off hiring a producer to help him with The Money Grind. The production here is terrible - perhaps the worst of any "professionally" released album I've ever heard in my life. The songs have a lot of external "noise" and each track sort of ends in a "stop-start" fashion. In other words, there is excess music that wasn't clipped when the song ended. This drives me freaking crazy. I hate clutter in life - and that applies to messy music just as it does to a chaotic room or desk.
Production rant aside, The Money Grind is good for what it is: fun, classic rock that is bass-driven. It's Glam with a punch - heavy and smooth.
An update: the label sent me a new copy of this disc. Apparently there was a technical glitch at the factory and the first run of this disc had the horrible clipping issue I mention. I must admit the correct copy of The Money Grind sounds much better - real rock/funk fusion!