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Root Doctor
Change Our Ways
Big O Records

By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
10 songs; 53:00 minutes; Very Good

Michigan’s veteran outfit, Root Doctor, had its beginnings in Lansing at an open mic night. Freddie Cunningham (lead vocals) and James Williams (bass, vocals) first played together as a pick-up band, but both recognized their chemistry and Root Doctor was born. Keeping the Soul intact through inherent personnel changes, Root Doctor’s current line-up features Jim Alfredson (Hammond B3, keyboards, vocals), Greg Nagy (guitar, vocals), and Rick Bole (drums).

On Change Our Ways, Root Doctor plays a diverse mix of keyboard heavy and guitar accented classic soul and R&B, alongside updated traditional blues and funk-laden inspired original material. Their soul-blues sound is powered by the magnificent voice of Mississippi-born Cunningham.

Six of the album's ten tracks were written by band members. The dance inducing "Blues Will Take Good Care of You" is the set opener and gives an immediate taste of the band’s very competent capabilities. In 5:21 minutes, the listener is introduced to the deep vocals, clever rhythm and solo-break guitar work, deep pocket bass and drums, and underlying rhythm organ which takes a mid song lead after guitar.

The Motor City Horns enter the studio on original "Keep Our Business Off the Streets" which provides some rich gospel vocal harmony. Another original standout is the gospel-drenched ballad "Lucky One." "Big Blue Cadillac" is a funky number featuring Greg Nagy leaning heavy on the wah-wah pedal and tasty horn work.

Great covers include Roy Hytower's tongue-in-cheek "Root Doctor" (clever choice), the funk of the Meters' "People Say," a 7:38 minute rendition of Warren Haynes' "Soul Shine," and the CD's final number, the Temptation's "I Wish It Would Rain," featuring a welcome, uncluttered switch to piano and twin cellos.

Root Doctor has concocted a prescription of elixir for the blues that, unlike most medicine, even tastes good!  If you want to sample a couple of the tunes on this CD, CLICK HERE. To Purchase this CD - CLICK HERE

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