122 Ellsworth

The Boogie Hustlers are an eight-piece funk and soul group based in Pittsburgh. The band has been together since 2003, and their debut album features an engaging mixture of funk and soul. The album kicks off with the title song, a trippy instrumental with a '70s funk vibe. Alternating guitar, horn, and keyboard solos set a nice table for the rest of the record. Other instrumentals pop up throughout the rest of the record's 12 songs, including the organ and wah-wah guitar heavy "Vince Lost It" and the jazz-funk of "White Night." It's not all instrumentals, of course, as the Boogie Hustlers feature not one but two lead vocalists. Some of the vocal standouts include "Hit It Runnin'," a terrific funk song with a party atmosphere. "Hope Is Alive" begins with a soft R&B feel and then revs up into a gospel-type number. And "Let It Ride," has great interplay between the organ and horns. The musicianship is good throughout the album, and the band keeps the arrangements fresh and varied over the CD. 122 Ellsworth is a fun collection of tunes, and a very promising first release.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director