Deep Banana Blackout, "Feel the Peel"; Johnny Sansone, "Watermelon Patch,"; Pinhead Circus, "The Black Power of Romance" 

Now Hear This

Deep Banana Blackout, "Feel the Peel" (Flying Frog Records) - The third release from funk octet Deep Banana Blackout comes by way of Flying Frog Records, the label founded by Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks. Whisking though several styles of music while still relying on funk fundamentals, DBB manages to create an experimental sound that still relies on a groove you can get down to. Through the Latin-tinged "Everybody" and the soulful smoothness of "Rocco's Lament," highlighted by vocalist Hope Clayburn's R&B vibe, DBB keeps the music tight, despite the band's size. The funk runs deep on "Strong" and "Big Thing" — which ironically sounds like it could be on an adult film soundtrack. DBB also stays true to its reputation as a jam band on the seven-minute "Five It Up." The tune closes the album with a journey through their styles: a straight-up funk bounce morphs into psychedelic guitar-driven jazz, flavored by Latin beats before driving into an all-out rock 'n' roll jam. — Chris Hudgins

Johnny Sansone, "Watermelon Patch," (Bullseye) - When the harmonica-playing "Jumpin'" Johnny Sansone and his Blues Party band rocked the bars of Shockoe Bottom in the late '80s, they played a deep, straight-ahead blues groove. More than a decade later, and now based in New Orleans, Sansone has added much to his musical repertoire, and his fine latest release "Watermelon Patch" documents this growth. While still under a blues spell, Sansone now sprinkles some zydeco accordion sounds, guitar-driven swamp rock and R&B harp playing with a dash of Mardi Gras mambo horn-playing to create his new musical gumbo. "Think of Me" kicks off the recording with foot-tapping pop, and "Look At Us" balances raw harmonica moans with guitar twangs. The title track is good ol' rock 'n' roll while "Loveline" plays the title off some Fat Tuesday-style second line rhythms. Sansone also gives listeners two big helpings of greasy chromatic harp for the instrumentals "Pig's Foot & Tailmeat" and "Stink Bait." — Ames Arnold

Sansone and his band will be performing at Shenanigan's, Friday, July 20. Tickets are $8 and show time is 8:30 p.m.

Pinhead Circus, "The Black Power of Romance" (BYO Records) - On their fourth full-length album Pinhead Circus has become a bit melodic. But only a little. From the drum intro of "Rumble Young Man Rumble" onward, there're plenty of drum and guitar machine-gun tempos that are formulaic to the majority of today's hardcore punk bands.

The Golden, Colo., quartet does put snippets of melody in its songs. There's a nice quasi-funky breakdown in "Rumble Young Man Rumble" and the instrumental breakdowns in "No Boundaries, No Regrets" and "I'll Die and It Will All Be Over." As noted by the album and song titles, most of singer/guitarist Jimmy Pinhead's (aka Scooter) vocals dwell on drinking, love, depression and the decadence of plastic, strip-mall American society.

The album's best track, "Sometimes We Shine," touches on the ballad format, but its driving distorted triplets won't have fans waving lighters in the air. - Jacob Parcell

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