about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_thenewgroove_quitbitchin001006.jpg
The New Groove are another in the fairly long list of blues/rock bands that I have been reviewing recently and while, for me, 'Quit Bitchin' doesn't hit the heights of some of those artists (Paul Rose, Henrik Freischlader Band, Rosco Levee or Martin Harley), it's still an enjoyable listen, especially on a hot summer's day. Ben Curtis (vocals and harmonica) is the main man behind this project and it came about after he retired from his job as a result of being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. He contacted friend and fellow musician Steve French (electric, slide and acoustic guitars) who was also taking time out from work to concentrate on his music and they started writing together. Next they decided on producer Steve Orchard (Paul McCartney, U2 and Travis) to oversee everything and he brought the rest of the band together, consisting of Henrik Irgens (bass), Steve Rodford (drums and percussion) and Carrie Haber (keyboards and backing vocals). In October 2012, they met for the first time at Rockfield Studios, spent two weeks recording and 'Quit Bitchin' is the result.

What I noticed first was the stellar production and mix. Orchard really has earned his fee on this project. Ben Curtis didn't have the vocals I was expecting but, after a while, you get used to his delivery. What I can tell you though is he plays a mean harmonica and it really lifts the songs. The opening four tracks - 'Quit Bitchin', 'Shovellin' Dirt', 'Rip It Up' and 'Money' - are all very good, well played and great fun, but The New Groove don't think outside the confines of the genre, and that is the problem with this album; it's all been done a thousand times before. 'Teen Streets' and 'You're The Girl' don't hit the mark with me and the backing vocals of 'Carrie Haber' fail to add anything to proceedings, but the album does end on two stronger tracks - 'If I Have To Leave' and 'Give It Time'.

There is a great band of musicians here, they play well together and this is still a good album but, overall, the songs have let them down a little. I'm very pleased that Ben appears to have beaten the dreaded cancer and that his music has helped him psychologically. With continued good health I very much hope The New Groove will reconvene and write album number two, because I do think there is a belter waiting to be delivered.
Review by Rick Tilley
1st July 2013
1) Quit Bitchin'
2) Shovellin' Dirt
3) Rip It Up
4) Money
5) It Ain't Easy
6) Teen Streets
7) Injustice
8) You're The Girl
9) If I Have to Leave
10) Give It Time
"Ben Curtis...plays a mean harmonica and it really lifts the songs."