Cuddy Mack

Cuddy Mack

Independent release, 2004

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/20/2005

On Cuddy Mack's self-titled EP, he gracefully blends spirited funk, soulful gospel and soft rock into a well-written, effectively performed example of his work.

At the age of seven, Mack began to play the drums. The seed of inspiration was planted by his father, who urged his son to develop a love of music and a desire to perform. Cuddy would listen to his brother Eddie scat, carefully listening to the sounds he made. And he would watch brother William sing, observing how he used his mouth to make the notes. He absorbed it all and combined it with Al Jarreau's influence; he used to mimic Jarreau for hours every day. Unknowingly, he was developing a style all his own.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first song on this EP is "The Gate Called Beautiful." The lyrics are substantial and inspiring -- "...at the gate...where color is not a problem, where hate is not allowed." Not sure if this gospel piece is one of sentimental hope, or is a song of frustration over the unfairness of life. Either way, the words are beautifully laid out. It is a lengthy song, and I personally would have preferred a shorter version, but then it is an EP after all. And the time did float by and my attention was held the entirety of the song.

"Don't U Ever Leave" has an upbeat and funky rhythm. This love song begs the lady to stay. I liked the sexy growl in Cuddy's vocals. The song progresses into a harder rock mode. The guitar is bold and strong, but unfortunately often outweighs the vocals. The lyrics are a tad repetitive near the end. Like any relationship, Mack believes that music is a marriage between the "he" (the artist) and the "she" (the music itself). Like a relationship, it takes effort, determination and a desire to succeed. "Slipping Away" has exuberant guitar work; done in rock-hard riffs. Again the vocals are powerful, and I like the catch that he adds as another dimension.

"Music is a creative path" chosen for Cuddy Mack, one of purpose and destiny. Cuddy Mack is an intelligent, deeply caring individual. He has a strong desire to touch his listeners in a positive way. He's not cocky, but upfront and honest about his talent. He believes in himself. And although it may appear that I did not like this EP, I actually did. Mack is a little funky, a little chunky on the rock and has a foundation of spunky gospel that is intriguing. As a first EP, I think it's noteworthy. I would, however, be very interested in hearing something more at a later date. I hope that he continues to "water" that seed that was planted long ago. I have no doubt that the tree will bear fruit.

Rating: B-

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