First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2004, Volume 11, #3
Written by T.J. Simon
When New Yorker Ron Sunshine swings, he approaches the genre from a 1940’s jump jazz/blues perspective rather than the Western or rockabilly angle. His latest disc Deluxe also incorporates elements of classic soul, including a cover of Percy Mayfield’s 1950 hit Please Send Me Someone to Love. For the most part, Sunshine’s band sounds like a tighter version of other retro-swing acts such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or The Mighty Blue Kings — particularly on peppy numbers like Freeze on Me and Coffee & Reefer — though the slickly-produced tunes Natural Man and Tumblin’ Down fall closer to the territory of Sam & Dave. In general, his cross-pollination of genres is effective in its approximation of the past, but his homage to Sly and The Family Stone (Human Blues) serves as the disc’s low point. Still, he manages to redeem himself by taking a jazzy little Steely Dan-like turn on Wasted and So in Love. Overall, Deluxe is a testament to the fact that Sunshine is a talented guy with a good voice and an ear for recreating American music of this ilk. Sure it’s derivative stuff, but among those artists living in the past, Sunshine is as good as they come.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box