The Veragroove – Pieces
1.) Tongue Tied
2.) Too Much To Lose
4.) Days With No Sunshine
6.) All I Know
7.) Mind Body Soul
9.) Hand In Hand
10.) Pieces Of A Man
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Official Website: The Veragroove’s Official Website
The VeraGroove comes to you by way of Phoenix, AZ, combining classic rock and roll, a touch of blues, a hint of jazz and, of course, the sweet sound of reggae all mixed together. The band came together late in 2009, after all four members went through their own set of trials and tribulations before picking up their respective instruments. The one unifying aspect behind The VeraGroove is the loved to play music for a live audience, as the band has shared the stage with notable acts, The Voodoo Glowskulls, The Dirty Heads, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, Seedless and The Green. However, in The VeraGroove’s brief career, the band linked up with Grammy nominated producer and engineer Craig Shumacher and released their debut EP Travelin’ Man in 2010. And now, two years later, the desert quartet has released their first full-length album titled, Pieces.
Once the listener presses play on Pieces, instantly, one will realize this is not your average reggae-rock album. Many bands within this budding genre’s community defy the boundaries of one particular musical spectrum, but The VeraGroove pushes the limits even further. Really, the only way to describe the band is classifying The VeraGroove as your quintessential jam band.
The opening track, “Tongue Tied” captivates the listener, no matter what location one chooses to indulge in the album. Beginning with nearly a thirty second drum solo by Johnny Mauer comes to end just before the heavy bass slapping of Corey Sims takes over. But, the song and album are not nearly done. Most bands nowadays have energetic rhythm sections to take hold of the crowd at live shows and on recordings, but an aspect of The VeraGroove that separates their sound is the masterful keyboard playing of Sean Lee. Listen closely and close your eyes, you can almost feel like you might have gone back in time and witnessing a concert put on by The Doors or Grand Funk Railroad.
One giant figure that sets the band’s sound apart from other touring acts is the passionate poetry put into lyrical form by The VeraGroove’s frontman, Ricky Moore. The band members have seen some of the darkest days away from the musical stage, and perhaps there was a higher reason for all of that, because the emotion pours out through Moore’s voice within the album’s entirety. One song in particular that cannot go unnoticed is the track, “Days With No Sunshine”. Yet, Moore’s guitar playing should not be overlooked either. It is clear, there are an abundance of layers to The VeraGroove’s sound.
Although the band is comprised of four members, for the recording of Pieces the band added an upbeat trumpet on numerous tracks, including “Tongue Tied”, and the above mentioned “Days With No Sunshine”. Another entity that the band added in the studio was the island feel of a ukulele for the prosperous track, “Mind Body Soul”. The instrumentals throughout the album almost appear to have a rising action until this particular track, and come to a halt as the choruses rings true, “Let the music heal your mind, body, and soul…”
There are plenty of goodies to uncover within The VeraGroove’s album Pieces. Other mentionable tracks are the reggae infused ditty “Hand In Hand” and “Pass(Her)By”, which will surely make you get up dance like no one is watching.
If you are looking for a true alternative reggae-sound with a glimpse back to the classic rock, jam band era of the 1960s and ‘70s, The VeraGroove’s Pieces just might be the album to satiate your musical palette.
Written & Reviewed By: Kris Siuta
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]