Diplomats Of Solid Sound: A Soulful Funk Jam

May 11, 2011

Even with a vocal chant proclaiming exactly what the title indicates, Diplomats of Solid Sound's "B-O-O-G-A-L-O-O" is essentially an instrumental workout rooted deeply in R&B tradition. Singers Katharine Ruestow and Sarah Cram provide the motivation — not to mention a bit of a lesson in just what kind of dance you're hearing — and their presence provides a perfect complement to the rhythm that surrounds them. The song would be irresistible even without their contribution, but it does give "B-O-O-G-A-L-O-O" even more bite, and a bit of clapping and cheering at the end gives the track the ambiance of a live recording.

"B-O-O-G-A-L-O-O" could double as a timeout cheer designed to fire up the home crowd at a basketball game. Doug Roberson's opening guitar riff provides a spark, later mimicked by a sax before the two combine to make a potent force. Organist Nate Basinger holds on to a single chord for what seems like an eternity — actually about 25 seconds — but the decision to do so helps add a sense of urgency and sets the stage for a hyper hoedown. The Brooklynites in The Dap-Kings get a majority of the soul-revivalist press, but this Iowa City band knows how to throw down a soulful funk jam, too. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.