Little Buster and the Soul Brothers
I'll never forget my reaction when first listening to Right on Time!, the 1995 debut CD from Long Island artist Little Buster and the Soul Brothers. After hearing just a few notes, I exclaimed, "Wow, what a great voice!"
When Little Buster opens his mouth on the catchy opening cut, "What Can I Do (Somebody Tell Me)," the words literally explode from his soulful, gravely voice. While this tune is an original, with its sophisticated horn arrangements you could easily imagine it having been recorded 25 years ago by someone like Tyrone Davis.
Little Buster (real name Edward Forehand) shows he's more than just a pretty voice, demonstrating his guitar prowess on "Engines and Wings." This is one of the best cuts on the album, as the singer tells us between some extremely tasty blues guitar licks about his aversion to flying.
Buster's equally adept at singing ballads, such as the mournful "First You Cry" and the Dan Penn song "Whatever It Takes." Then his voice takes on a coarser, snakier sound on "I've Been Watching You."
The Soul Brothers horn section provides nice accompaniment throughout, especially on the intro to the uptempo "Broken Hearted Man." By inserting a chorus of la la la's between the verses, Little Buster gives this tune a happy feeling in contrast to the context of the song.
On "My Darling" Buster tells his loved one he's through with her ("... all of my life, baby, I've been mistreated, but I won't be blue anymore ..."), and provides some of his most inspired guitar work here.
Right On Time! closes with a stirring "Baby Couldn't Be Found," on which Buster goes solo, playing acoustic guitar and singing a powerful blues.
I had never heard of Little Buster and the Soul Brothers prior to this disc's release, nor am I aware of any touring done by them since then. But if Right On Time! is all we ever get from Little Buster, at least this one's a killer!
--- Bill Mitchell
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