Pass It Around

Whoa! The 1970’s have come roaring back in a big way via Donavon Frankenreiter’s suspiciously titled Pass It Around. The album is full of laid-back soul grooves and vibes that might be found in the lobby of the Hotel California. Heck, the man even has a handle-bar moustache that the Marlboro Man would envy!

By all accounts Frankenreiter is an easy going guy who likes getting together with friends to help flesh out the songs that have been bouncing around in his head. He’s got a great group of pals on this one including Ben Harper, Grant Lee Phillips, Thad Cockrell and G. Love. That’s just the special guest list; his touring band joins in as well. From the sounds of these 10 songs Frankenreiter is open to suggestion as he bounds from one sound to another, his voice being the cohesive factor that holds it all together.

The mood is set with the opening track; “Life, Love & Happiness” tempers its feel good attitude with a touch of responsibility as Frankenreiter suggest we take a look at ourself before we start complaining. “Too Much Water” starts out with a disco beat and a narrator who’s hanging out at a groovy party at someone’s pad but grows into an environmentally conscious tale. “Come With Me” is a pretty pop number that mixes slide guitar, organ and a touch of ukulele. Next up, mariachi strings and muted trumpet meet that soulful organ and jamming guitars on “Your Heart,” a very infectious number that will lure you toward the headphones. “Mansions On The Sand,” a collaboration with Grant Lee Phillips, is a wistful number that nicely contrasts the sunny, happy-go-lucky feel of many of these songs. G. Love offers vocals and harmonica on “Sing A Song,” a ditty that would feel right at home on Sesame Street.

The musicians on Pass It Around are all top notch players who know how to lay down great riffs. As for Mr. Frankenreiter, his pleasant vocals are likely to lure a new crop of fans to the hammock with glazed looks of contentment on their shiny faces as they drift into their IPods dreams.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix Host)