KINg JAMES & THE SPE­CIAL MEN Act Like You Know

Ace N’awl­ins dance band ap­plies fresh coat of paint to city’s rich legacy

UNCUT - - New Albums -

King James & The Spe­cial Men are among NOLA’s busiest R&B neo­tra­di­tion­al­ists, rip­ping through the clas­sics in var­i­ous lo­cal wa­ter­ing holes while the horn play­ers moon­light as in-de­mand ses­sion mu­si­cians. On de­but al­bum Act Like You Know, the nine-piece combo ap­plies its mem­bers’ vast knowl­edge and deep feels to a half-dozen orig­i­nals penned by singer/gui­tarist Jim Horn (a Utah na­tive) in the spirit of his idols. Un­ex­pected touches such as the surf-guitar riffs in “Spe­cial Man Boo­gie”, the free-jazz freak­out that cli­maxes “The End Is Near” and the blis­ter­ing Mem­phis-style coda on “Tell Me (What You Want Me To Do)” keep the per­for­mances from be­com­ing overly pre­dictable.

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