G.E. Smith & the Saturday Night Live Band

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This is a wicked album, which you would expect from such a crack band. As SNL music director, Smith produced the album and wrote eight of the 10 tunes. His guitar is prominent, but doesn't dominate, as he takes full advantage of the band's capabilities, especially the horn section. The generally upbeat mood ranges from the good times of "Monkey Hips and Rice" to the devilish "Hell Drive" and the funked-up "Fat Girl/Last Month of the Year." The charming "Willy D's Blues" meanders like the Mississippi on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Rosanne Cash and Marshall Crenshaw make cameos, but this would be a superb album without them. Except for a duet with Cash, Smith handles the lead singing, and covers a lot of ground.

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