Senay, Eddie – Hot Thang – New LP
A virtual primer in psychedelic funk, Eddy Senay's Hot Thang marshals widescreen arrangements, blissed-out grooves, and deeply soulful guitar to forge a series of instrumentals that twist and turn like rides at an amusement park. Senay's supple, understated guitar style often recalls Grant Green in its sophistication and finesse. His fuzz-laden riffs and Technicolor solos nevertheless burn with feverish imagination, reinventing material like Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Donny Hathaway's "Zambezi" from the ground up."
"Hot Thang is a document of its era, crossing the bridge from soul to funk. Eddy's guitar work is the frontman of this album, played on a Hagstrom acquired on tour in Europe. In Eddy's own words, 'We didn't want to be too technical or overly fancy. We want to keep it simple, funky and plain. We don't want to overdress it, we don't want too many horns, too many strings or too many keyboards. We want to keep it as raw as we possibly can get it.' The album was recorded at Detroit's Pac 3 Studio with Eddy's lead guitar backed up by Rudy Robinson on keys, Roderic 'Peanut' Chandler on bass, Sam Witcher on second guitar, Curtis Sharp on drums, Eddie 'Bongo' Brown on congas, Johnny Clapton and Thomas Hale on tenor sax, and Gordon Camp on trumpet. With stripped down layers and impressive playing, Eddy shows his range with the choice of songs, from the up-tempo blues sounds of the title track to the tranquilly romantic soul that is 'Message of Love.' Eddy's cover of Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine' is stridently tough, changing the hauntingly mournful notes of the original version into a tune that takes no prisoners and keeps it moving no matter what emotions are being experienced. Eddy's style comes through on the trippy tropical funk of his take on 'Zambezi.' The blues can be heard again along with the frenetically paced beats which contrast with the slow Southern guitar sound of the aptly named 'Down Home.' The laid back and grooving 'Rev. Lowdown' and 'Just Feeling It' capture the early '70s Blaxploitation era perfectly, Eddy's staccato guitar licks telling a story as well as any lyrics. Though he's undoubtedly the star of this show, Eddy isn't afraid to give the spotlight to his fellow players. Check out the organ solo in 'Jubo' for testament to this fact. In paring down the components, every musical part contributes to the whole picture just enough. Hot Thang stands out as a timely document from a uniquely talented musician with roots in blues, soul and classical music."
- Kevin Herron (Wax Poetics)