Anthony David

3 Chords & the Truth

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One blues man and a voodoo band have become an increasingly popular tangent for R&B as of late, combining the mellow vocal soul of the '70s with folksy guitar strum and clip-clop percussion reminiscent of Tom Waits at his most rhythmic. Atlanta singer/songwriter Anthony David might overstate his case for being a Delta bluesman, titling his album 3 Chords & the Truth, but that does little to take away from his Ben Harper-esque growl and skillful songcraft, which have already been recognized with his participation on India.Arie's Grammy-nominated Acoustic Soul album. At his best, David recalls Terry Callier or Q-Tip's highly promoed yet tragically never released "Barely in Love." At his worst, he either relies on too much saccharine production (the '70s orchestra oversaturation of "Part of My Life") or, inversely, too little (the lone pick and vocal of "Cheatin' Man," which stumbles over lines like "When the stage is set for drama/I keep thinking 'bout my momma"). But the slight sampling hip-hop feel of "Krooked Kop" hits the balance just right, as does the mechanically led "Cold Turkey" with its distant steel-on-steel quarry metronome, its metal pulse egging on the jaw-clenching subject matter. He even gets a little reggae on "50/50 Love," complete with a Jamaican backing vocalist, proving that Southern R&B is just a starting point for this promising talent.

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