The Diplomats of Solid Sound
There’s a mini-revival of instrumental groups going on today that pays soulful homage to Booker T. and the MG’s, and the inspiration has been the recent return to the spotlight of Motown house band the Funk Brothers. But how the hell does one of the groove-lovingest rhythm sections on the planet wind up being four white guys from Iowa City? Don’t ask; just dance. On its first two albums, Instrumental Action Soul and Let’s Cool One, the Diplomats of Solid Sound mix together a little bit of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos and Ray Charles’ “Booty Butt,” along with some Meters and Jimmy Smith and a whole lot of Booker T., to create a recipe for soul that reteaches some long-gone lessons: Less is more; the Hammond B3 is the embodiment of gritty cool; and it can’t make ’em move if it ain’t got that groove.