A trunkload of funk, pop and pleasing harmonies


Prepare to face the funk, as well as some exquisite Americana and pop, in the latest roundup of Vegas releases:

DUSTY SUNSHINE, "Dusty Sunshine" (facebook.com/dustysunshinemusic): Even when singing of aerating no-good dudes with shotgun blasts or stabbing out the eyes of love, the ladies of Dusty Sunshine make rancor sound inviting, almost desirable even.

The six-piece Americana troupe features a quartet of singers who give voice to such beautiful multipart harmonies over aching violin and plucky banjo that you could listen to them recite something as yawn-inducing as the Yellow Pages (or this column, even) and somehow be transported somewhere else.

The only thing they don't do is apologize.

"Should have been a better man," they sing on "Jailbird" by way of explaining why said man is dead. His loss, our gain.

AMERICAN CREAM, "American Cream"(facebook.com/AmericanCream): He doesn't say, "I want to love you."

He says, "I want to l-UGH!-ve you."

It's a moment of affectation on an album full of as much.

American Cream singer-guitarist Vince Pangallo emotes freely in an elastic voice on the song in question, "Your Landslide," a starry-eyed come-on.

His band's debut EP is a radio-ready exercise in well-manicured pop rock that's polished, professional and, at times, a little predictable.

That changes, though, on "You Can See," a propulsive rocker with decidedly more heft and drive.

"Things weren't exactly how you'd thought they'd be," Pangallo sings on the tune to American Cream's credit.

FACE THE FUNK, "Face the Funk" (facebook.com/facethefunk): Funk sax great Jimmy Castor sadly passed away in Henderson in January, but his spirit seems to have lingered locally, infusing what may be the most fun Vegas release of the year.

With a get-up-out-of-your-seat horn section, touches of wah-wah guitar, plenty of badass, booty-moving bass lines and trilling keys, this is a hard- funk sweat bath that could start a party in a morgue.

The man behind it all, musician-producer Frank Klepacki, who plays most of the instruments here, has toured with Sly & the Family Stone in the past, so his funk pedigree is firmly established. And you can hear it on these 10 high-energy tracks, which range from fierce, head-down grooves to baby-making R&B.

"I'm gonna take you all to school," Klepacki boasts on "Here At Last," and for once, you won't be waiting for the lunch bell to ring.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.