Don't Lose Your Cool
The Nat Martin Band's debut album Don't Lose Your Cool received its launch at the Guildford Jazz Club last month and is officially released this month on MGP Records. Essentially a deeply blues-rooted band, The Nat Martin Band throw in a heady mix of funk, jazz and soul, with some outstanding blues/blues-rock guitar, jazz-funk keys and bluesy, soulful vocals and come up with some very cool grooves.
It would be difficult as well as unfair to pigeonhole this band and this album into any one particular 'genre' only. It's a mix that works beautifully on Don't Lose Your Cool. Essentially, what you get is a wonderfully refreshing breath of fresh air as well as a blast from the past. In other words, an absolute delight of an album.
Nat Martin delivers some exquisite blues/blues-rock guitar that could stop you in your tracks. The funky keys of Jez Davies are equally delightful, and all is held firmly together by the excellent bass and traps of Marco Meniconi and Owen Martin respectively. In addition, Nat Martin supplies excellent lead vocals that range from bluesy and soulful to hard-edged blues-rock and R&B.
On two tracks, Evil Eye and Coming On Too Strong, the lead vocals are supplied by the amazing, soulful Katie Leone who sounds like she could have stepped right off an old Stax or Atlantic label LP. A truly amazing voice. On two further tracks, the title track Don't Lose Your Cool and Tell me Pretty Baby, veteran Rock 'n' Roller Jackie Lynton steps into the lead and proves he's still more than 'got it.' And if you're too young to remember Lynton - seek him out, you'll be amazed.
Of the ten songs on Don't Lose Your Cool, eight are Nat Martin originals, with one more each co-penned with Jez Davies (Playin' The Blues For You) and Katie Leone (Evil Eye). All are good, solid compositions with far better than average lyrics.
This is a remarkably consistent album and it really would be impossible to pick out a single particular favourite. In fact, each and every song by itself would be worth the price of admission. Don't Lose Your Cool is a more than compelling album that's sheer joy to listen to. In an earlier age, one would have called this album 'groovy, man.' And that would have summed it up pretty nicely. With Don't Lose Your Cool, The Nat Martin Band have delivered a debut album that is simply stunning. It's got the lot, plenty of raw emotion, great grooves, great guitar and keys, fine vocals, not least also the superb guest vocals of Katie Leone and Jackie Lynton, and plenty more.
The Nat Martin Band's Don't Lose Your Cool is something that seems to have become a bit of a rarity in recent times. A blues/funk/soul kind of album that is a real must have. I'd suggest you make a bee line for this album.
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