about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_brothersgroove_playthegame001006.jpg
Absolutely incredible from start to finish, 'Play The Game' is the debut (yes, I really cannot believe this a debut album) from Birmingham based Brothers Groove. It's only January 9th as I write this and I've already received an album of such quality that it's going to be difficult for this not to be included on my end of year lists! I've reviewed some great blues albums over the last year but I'm really thinking 'Play The Game' is the pick of the bunch.

At their core, Brothers Groove are a trio consisting of Shaun Hill (guitar, vocals), Nigel Mellor (guitar, vocals) and Deano (bass, vocals). Now, the press blurb goes on about the brotherly friendship these three guys have, hence the name of the band. Often you have to take comments like that with a pinch of salt, but in this case they are so together musically that you really have to wonder why they haven't all got the same surname! There is a tremendous amount of buzz around the blues circuit at the moment regarding this band and it really is justified. They are joined here by several guest musicians and the groove that has been created is almost edible! Wayne Proctor (drums, percussion & producer), Bob Fridzema (Hammond & Rhodes piano), Bennett Holland (Rhodes piano & piano on four tracks) and Sam Weeks (backing vocals on three tracks) and all of them put in fabulous performances. Jon Astley (Led Zep, The Who, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Peter Gabriel, Sting and many more) has mastered the album and it sounds sublime.

Kicking off with 'Play The Game (Save Your Soul), you notice a couple of things immediately. Vocals are quite clean and don't have that whiskey soaked huskiness that many blues artists have, but they so perfectly compliment the music that it doesn't matter in the slightest. Guitar work is exceptional including some of the best funk-driven and most emotional blues soloing I've heard in many years. And in a genre which can become stagnant and predictable if you don't have the chops then every song, whether it's rocking and upbeat or ballad based, slow and thoughtful, is a winner. They showcase some amazing catchiness and melody, and if you don't believe me then check out the eight minute plus 'Another Girl' which gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.

As you might have surmised, I'm being pretty complimentary of Brothers Groove, but I cannot fail to be moved by their ability and song writing skills. I'm just so glad that I have wide taste in metal, rock, progressive and blues music, and am able to appreciate wonderful releases such as this. As I often say on Metal Discovery, this won't be for everyone but lovers of blues are going to be smiling like a Cheshire Cat when they hear 'Play The Game'. What a way to start 2014!
Shabby Toad Records
Review by Rick Tilley
27th Jan 2014
1) Play the Game (Save Your Soul)
2) Understand Me
3) My Guitar
4) Treat Em Mean
5) Never Gonna Happen
6) Duty Calls
7) Another Girl
8) What's the Deal?
9) Easy Found Love
10) Will I See You There?
"There is a tremendous amount of buzz around the blues circuit at the moment regarding this band and it really is justified."