*this is my 300th post. Woot woot!
What's Goin On: This is a great cover to an already amazing tune. Donny sure knows how to do songs justice! I love the slightly funkier groove he puts on this one, it's got a nice upbeat feel that gets you moving. Donny's voice is really impeccable. The tone, the quality, the inflictions, everything about it is wonderful. I like how where in the original there are vocal echoes ("brother," "what's goin on?") the guitar plays the response. Love this cover. This is a great way to start of the album.
The Ghetto: This is an all instrumental tune, and I like that Donny gives the band (and himself on keys) and chance to really show off their skills. Love that this track starts out with the audience participating in claps, which later turn to soul claps (for those that don't know, soul clap = double time, or twice as fast). This groove has got a great latin vibe to it that I dig. Donny really shows his piano skills on this, his solo is pretty incredible. Some of the vocal trills he sings remind me a lot of Stevie, it would have been great if they'd gotten to work on a full length project together. And that percussion solo - oooooweee! Earl DeRouen, you are one funky, funky man. There's a cool play with meter coming out of the percussion solo back into the groove that's really funky. Love that Donny gets the audience incorporated again with the "talking bout the ghetto" line. Great tune.
Hey Girl: There's a great seamless transition into this song - dig. it. Love the bossa groove going on in the drums - it adds a light, summer-y feel to the tune. Donny's tone on this is, surprise, wonderful. He plays a lot with his lower register, which is really sultry and enticing. Great chord structure on this tune. I really like the slight build up before the 2nd verse, and then it's brought down oh so smoothly before Donny enters again. Some of the chords towards the end remind me of something Steely Dan would play - I can get down with that. Really dig the deceptive ending. Really great track.