Fabrizio Grossi is an Italian-born, California-based bass player, producer and songwriter. Having collaborated with the likes of Slash, Gary Clark Jr. and Joe Bonamassa, Grossi has built his reputation as a five-star musician. Known for his stellar bass playing skills, Grossi takes a step forward with the new release by his new project, Fabrizio Grossi & Soul Garage Experience, taking the front seat in the songwriting process. Counterfeited Soulstice Vol. 1 is a mix of genres like blues, soul, reggae, and rock and whose lyrics and concept focus on the positive message of love and hope. Although the record pays homage to both the ’60s sound and ethos, the music is incredibly contemporary and, I would say, fresh. Let us take a closer look at what this became.
The core band accompanying Grossi are drummer Stephen Perkins, guitarist Derek Day, pianist Alex Alessandroni and organist Dylan Meek, although the album lists many other talented musicians as collaborators and include a set of guest vocalists. With influences ranging from blues rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Gary Clark Jr. all the way to reggae and soul powerhouses like Bob Marley and James Brown, the sonic result comes out varied, albeit very cohesive. The songs swing, roll and rock as much as possible, making the record one of the liveliest efforts released recently.
The album kicks off with “Slave To My Rhythm”, a fun-packed, blues-infused, funk rock number that shines with an effective bassline and a blazing lead guitar work. A perfect opener that sets the tone and theme for the remaining songs, including the prominence of the bass sound and the catchy guitar melodies. The next standout track is “Right Down Below”. A reggae-flavored rock number that, driven by a thick bass sound, features an inflammable guitar solo and an infectious chorus.
The third track and third standout number in a row is “Soul Intervention”. Driven by a mighty guitar riff and more rock than anything else, the song doesn’t fail to deliver in terms of excitement and includes one of the album’s definitive vocal performances. “I Never Thought That You” is next in our analysis. The bluesiest cut on the album, the song is distinguished by tasty harmonica fills, remarkable drumming and vocals, and a short, yet vicious guitar solo. The album’s closer is “Them and Me”, a contemporary R&B number that features engaging rap-like vocals and a great sing-along chorus.
In summary, Counterfeited Soulstice Vol. 1 delivers in terms of enjoyment and energy and is a huge step in Grossi’s solo career, since this is his first release as a frontman. Definitely, a late-year highlight.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Slave To My Rhythm
– Right Down Below
– Soul Intervention
– I Never Thought That You
– Them And Me
The Big Hit
– Slave To My Rhythm