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Sons of Champlin - Hip Li'l Dreams

Hip Li'l Dreams

Sons of Champlin

Dig -114

Available at Sons of Champlin's web site, & CD Now.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This is a band that was formed in 1966 in the heady psychedelic days in the shadow of their fellow San Francisco bands, The Grateful Dead and The Jefferson Airplane. Unlike those bands this group headed heavily down the funky path of R & B and punched up their sound with good full horn arrangements. They caused a stir back then with their very urban sound, and now they still have more punch than many horn and guitar dominated bands, though at times their vocals lack that grittiness that feels city. They combine the horns with Bill Champlin's stellar work on the Hammond organ (not a very common mixture). Their arrangements are sometimes wonderfully complex and almost have a jazz feel to them, venturing off into those less funk infused rhythms. They released seven albums before disbanding in 1977, they reformed for several shows in 1997 and this is third disc since reforming. It is also their most adventurous in this new lineup.

The band now comprises original members Bill Champlin (vocals, organ, and guitar), Geoff Palmer (keyboards, vibraphone, and baritone sax), bassist David Schallock and drummer James Preston. They are joined by Tom Morris (guitar and vocal), Mic Gillette (trumpet, trombone and tuba), and Tom Saviano (saxes).

This is a good disc from a band that prides itself on its musicianship. They are a welcomed sound that is not often heard now, with their combination of funk, R & B and psychedelic guitar.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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