“Welcome to the congregation of The Preacher & the Bear. The Preacher & the Bear are Boogie Chillin’”
If I had to write a 20 word review: that would be it, for Preacher & The Bear and their recent release of ‘Welcome To The Congregation’. Although, It seems they already beat me to it, in the first line of ‘Boogie (In My Soul)’ – The first of 12 tracks, rammed full with grooving tones, alluring vocals and slicing piano excerpts.
Whenever I come across an album over an hour in length, I wonder whether it really needs to be that long? This does. As much as ‘Welcome…’ is audacious in its sheer musical talent, it is also a bright narrative. ‘Sittin’ On Top Of the World No.2’ is a musical story – Complete with its intricate piano sections, confident tale and alluring stance.
Although generally a sonically on point release – Welcome… has it’s rough edges, adding a warming character to it that’s not easy to find elsewhere. The odd vocal mis-pitch, the occasional out of time drum beat and times when there’s just too much going on – It all compliments the true ethic of Preacher & the Bear. Real, honest, brilliant music.
‘Bear Boogie’ takes it’s fitting title and runs with it – Setting a solid groove and breaking into sporadically timed solo’s, it’s up-beat style is complimented beautifully by it’s refusal to follow the norm. Similar to the premise of the entire release, Bear Boogie is an song that grips your attention, with it’s ever-changing signature and disconcerted instrumental inserts it leads to an all round feel-good record, not short of it’s modern twist.
It’s difficult to slap a genre stamp on this release. Blues, punk, experimental, garage and soul music all collide to create an intriguingly fresh sounding collection. From the laid back style of ‘See the Rider’, to the evidently rugid, garage punk style of ‘There’s No Place Like Home’, Welcome To The Congregation collates everything that’s brilliant about music without limits, in only 64 minutes.
You can support Preacher & the Bear on:
Other Goodtime Recordings artists you should check out:
The Pale Faces