Electric Church for the Spiritually Misguided
Originally from New York City’s East Village, Dean Zucchero now calls New Orleans his home. I first became aware of him through his work through the music of Ghalia Volt. I had reviewed two of her albums, and Zucchero had made a big impression on me with his performance on bass guitar. His debut album Electric Church for the Spiritually Misguided is quite exciting and a fabulous listen. With Zucchero on bass guitar, he is accompanied by drummers Terrence Higgins and Doug Belote, organist Phil Breen, percussionist Alex McDonald, and guitarist Jake Eckert. It’s great to hear him collaborate with personal favorites Ghalia Volt, Johnny Burgin, Johnny Rawls, and Jason Ricci. Other featured guests include Dale Spalding, Jonathan “Boogie” Long, Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, John Fohl, Joe Krown, Leslie Smith, Papa Mali, Johnny Sansone, and Jeremy Joyce.
“Big Boss Boy” the first hymn played at the Electric Church features Mississippi soul-blues legend Johnny Rawls on vocals, and Chicago blues great Johnny Burgin on guitar. The buttery bassline, swirling organ, and backing singers sound fabulous alongside Rawls’ silky smooth vocals, and Burgin’s blues-infused licks. “Craft Beer”, and ode to one of my favorite things, places Johnathon “Boogie” Long behind the mic for a suave-as-hell number. Ghalia Volt sings “Last Minute Packer” a track which kicked off her 2021 album One Woman Band. Co-written by Zucchero and Volt, this bodacious song features spirited performances by Waylon Thibodeaux on fiddle and Alex MacDonald on washboard. I love the instrumental “DBA” which is fortified with harp from Jason Ricci and organ from Joe Krown. The New Orleans energy flows freely through this one. “Mortal Man” features Johnny Sansone on lead vocals and harp for a dose of real-deal blues. It penetrates right to the bone.
The healing power is great at the Electric Church for the Spiritually Misguided. Dean Zucchero has created a wonderful album indeed.