On its latest recording, Lay Down and Love It Live, Chicago based blues/soul/funk/whatever group Sonia Dada rocks its way through 13 tracks of mostly upbeat stuff. The band’s members show the rampant enthusiasm that they’ve become known for, and the album as a whole does what a live album do: prove that this would have been a concert worth seeing, and that the band may be worth seeing in the future.
You may remember Sonia Dada from their moderately successful self-titled 1992 debut, and the slightly successful single, “You Don’t Treat Me No Good.” That track is here, as well as a whole lot of other spiffy little numbers that showcase the band’s talent and presence. The quality of recording is definitely worthy of major release, as the album manages to avoid typical live album problems, such as bad miking, overly loud crowds, or too much talking in between songs.
Sonia Dada gets a little raucous at times, especially with its version of “I Want To Take You Higher,” made famous by Sly and the Family Stone and Ike and Tina Turner. For most of the album, the band members manage to keep their collective cool, but on this track, they explode. The drumming is loud and hard, and the bass playing is as funky as anyone could hope for. The rest of the instruments keep up the intensity, and it makes for a great track.
Lay Down and Love It Live shows what it takes to pull off a great show. There’s about a 100 people playing at all times, but the sound never gets bogged down by imprecise playing. The energy level is up and the tunes are well rehearsed. Overall, the album is a treat and is definitely worth your time.
// Notes from the Road
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