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It's A Wonderful Thing by RC & The Groovediggers

Tunes that are as unimposing as a quiet, lazy stream on a bright summer Sunday afternoon grace this collection from RC & The Groovediggers. Guitarist/composer Royce Campbell (RC) pours a special blend of soft, rich melodies over us in abundance here as we are presented with a set of mellow pieces that prove to be just right for that lazy reflective moment or two or three that we spend lounging about within ourselves.

This is a unique recording in that it has a certain carefree I’m-just-doing-what-I-do feel to it. A humble production, if you will. The quiet calm with which each cut is pursued is very effective. The guitar chords and licks are crisp, clear, and deliberate, not hurried or frantic. The backing musicians all seem to take up that same sense of calm. Thus, it becomes an album of just plain sweet and unpretentious melody. There’s very little to dislike here, in my opinion.

Campbell launches into the album debuting his own rich vocals on the title track, a tune that resembles one of the sunny Al Jarreau gems, at least from an instrumental standpoint, and that truly sets the tone and mood for the remainder of the production. The backing vocals of Amanda Wilkins on "Better Than Ever" are equally warm and sedate.

We get a taste of the funky side of Campbell with the up-tempo piece, "Party Shake," a retreat from the otherwise unassumingly casual yet tight and professional tunes here. There’s also a cool and rhythmic scat exercise, appropriately called "Scat Rap" that offers a smooth diversion

For the most part, there is such an intriguing laziness about this album (a case in point might be the reggae-tinged "Kingston" with all of its melodic charm). One simply must witness its appeal firsthand to appreciate it. Granted, without the hook-rich melodies, it could have quite possibly been a rather boring venture. However, because Campbell and his band have been able to inject warmth, clever phrasings, and just great musicianship in the form of knowing just where to take this touch, this is anything but boring. In addition to being warm and cool at the same time, this is indeed a very smart recording.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: RC & The Groovediggers
  • CD Title: It's A Wonderful Thing
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Moon Cycle Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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