THE MOOD GROOVE – The Mood Groove (2018)
THE MOOD GROOVE and their self-titled album “The Mood Groove” is a little something different from JK Northrup and indeed Escape Music. Formed by JK Northrup (Gypsy Soul, King Kobra, XYZ) and Ed Balldinger they wanted to make music outside of their usual musical boxes and it encompasses hard rock, funk, soul, blues, a little prog, and more.
The Mood Groove also features 3/4 of Gypsy Soul (Escape Music released that album last year), with Northrup joined by fellow Gypsy Soul members bassist Larry Hart (King Kobra, Montrose) and drummer Glen Hicks (Shortino-Northrup).
They do heavy funk rock on ‘Funk Soul Sister’ and ‘Launching Pad’, which allow JK Northrup chance to let fly on his guitar. Elsewhere it is a real mish mash of styles with the frankly bizarre ‘We Are The Mushroom Men’ – like Frank Zappa jamming with Kansas – and the blues/gospel pastiche on ‘Stone Dead Man’.
On the hard rocking but also bluesy ‘Never Count the Cost’ and ‘Leaning Too Far In’ the band brings to mind Mother Finest, but also Living Colour.
The crazy ‘I’m a Pharmacist’ brings to mind Steve Vai more commercial side, if you can call ‘commercial’ insane guitar solos, mechanical vocals and fun lyrics.
I mentioned Kansas influences in a melodic progressive manner, and there’s even some Boston / Tom Scholz musical imaginary on other numbers.
The Mood Groove must have had fun making these songs and if you have a open musical mind they will appeal. Just don’t go expecting the melodic hard rock that you would normally associate with JK Northrup.
Very interesting, different kind of stuff.
01. Funk Soul Sister
02. Launching Pad
03. Moon Calling Sun
04. I’m a Pharmacist
05. I Just Wanna Sit Down
06. We Are the Mushroom Men
07. Never Count the Cost
08. Stone Dead Man
09. Disintegrating Gods
10. Leaning Too Far In
Ed Balldinger – Lead and Backing Vocal, Guitar
JK Northrup – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocal
Glenn Hicks (Gypsy Soul, Shortino-Northrup) – Drums, Lead and Backing Vocal
Larry Hart (King Kobra, Shortino-Northrup) – Bass, Backing Vocal
additional Lead Vocals by:
Willy Seltzer on Moon Calling Sun
Buddy Davis on Stone Dead Man