EDDIE FLOYD; Down By The Sea (New Generation Doo-Wop)

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76 year old Eddie Floyd is still going strong. The veteran Stax soul man still tours and records regularly… he even has his own label – New Generation Doo Wop Soul Records. That label is the home for this – his latest 10 track offering. The album is aimed fairly and squarely at the Carolina beach music scene where I guess Eddie gets a lot of his work these days. Those familiar with so called beach music will know what to expect. Beach music punters like their music tuneful, packed with nostalgia and with a garnish of soul about its delivery…. here Eddie delivers on all three, aided and abetted by his old Stax colleague, Lester Snell who handles the arrangements.

The LP opens with the breezy title cut and ‘Come On Over To My Place’ (not the Drifters’ song, by the way) and ‘Take You To The Beach Club’ offer more of the same bright, sing-along poppieness. Much better (and more soulful) though are trio of mid-tempo rollers. ‘Every Chance I Get’, ‘Just A Little Doo Wop’ and ‘Carolina Ladies’ (complete with a fake live atmosphere) recall Tower Of Power in their later, more mellow moments and the nostalgia slanted lyrics are spot on for the target audience.

That audience also likes to dance and their dance of choice is the oddly named Shag. Eddie gives them two “shagging” cuts here in the form of the two parts of ‘Eddie’s Gone Shagging’. They’re both chiefly instrumentals (Eddie interjects the title here and there) and they’d fit nicely into any smooth jazz station playlist… easy on the ear.

The album offers up one ballad. ‘I’m Gonna Be With You’ isn’t the greatest song but it does allow Eddie’s brittle vocal to shine. Like the rest of the album, it’s unpretentious and old-fashioned and if that’s your bag find out more @ www.eddiefloyd.com

(BB) 3/5