Music

New Blues: Derrick Procell — ‘Hello Mojo!’

Label: Catfood Records

Release date: August 1, 2022

 Hello Mojo! is the new album from Chicago-based soul/blues artist Derrick Procell. On the disc, he delivers a solid collection of tracks that consistently highlight the superb musicians that support and elevate his vocals. The material is strong, the production sturdy, and the performances robust. It’s a great reminder of what “mojo” sounds like. I have no doubt that the exclamation mark following “mojo” in the album’s title can best be experienced by seeing/hearing Derrick Procell live.

My personal favorite track is “I Can’t Say No.” It’s a song that is musically just complicated enough to keep things interesting and challenging, while at the same time exploiting the strengths of all involved so that they shine brightly. Whether it’s Procell’s gutsy and confessional vocals, or the oh-so-sweet background vocals, or the brass section’s euphonius architecture, or the magic carpet ride saxophone solo, the song offers a chance to hear just what a unified experience this band is.

Produced by Zac Harmon (who is is also featured on guitar on three tracks), the album features: Johnny McGhee (guitar); Dan Ferguson (keys); Bob Trenchard (bass); Richy Puga (drums); Frank Otero (trombone); Andy Roman (tenor and alto sax); Nick Flood (baritone and tenor sax); Mike Middleton (trumpet); and SueAnn Carwell, Meredith Colby and Jessica Ivey (background vocals).

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