know him as the front man for Down to the Bone, the lead
sax man providing one heck of a groove for the urban funk
band from the U.K. Back in 2001, Shilts released
his first solo CD, See What Happens. Now
he is ready to release his debut CD on ARTizen Music. Produced
by Rick Braun, this CD gives you the great grooves that Shilts
is famous for and includes a very funky sax determined to
get you up and moving! Get ready for HeadBoppin.
The CD opens with the first single released, “Look
What’s Happened.” If this song doesn’t
get you up and moving, nothing will. Shilts lays down
the funkiest of grooves with a very fun tenor sax. It
definitely sets the mood for what is to follow and is a great
answer to his first solo CD. “Break the Mold” is
very reminiscent of a 70s funk band sound. It features
a very powerful, melodic sax in the forefront, but then is
backed up by a groovy horn section. “I Knew You’d
Like This” is very aptly titled. It’s just
a fun, fast-paced track that is no-frills. It really
gives the opportunity to hear Shilts playing the sax with
very little obstruction of other instruments. He gets
into his groove and stays there.
“Good Evans” begins with a gentle
piano and then allows the sax to take over. Throughout
the song, the sax and piano take turns, giving listeners
a great jazz feel. Shilts’ sound is more old-school
on this one. With subtle vocals on the chorus, “Got
Love” offers up more of the great funky sax that Shilts
is famous for. It definitely continues the theme of
get your groove on! Next up is the title track, “HeadBoppin.” The
tenor sax on this one is pure and infectious. With
a distinct, yet understated, bass line, this track keeps
you moving right along with Shilts.
The pace slows down quite a bit on “Say Something” and
Shilts gets to show off his talent on this ballad. There
is a genuine feel to this song, being played from the heart. What’s
really terrific is hearing him be able to improvise a lot. Heading
back to the funk is “Tuesday Heartbreak” and “Two
Pesos for Bud.” Both of these tracks give you
a great blend of sax and guitar. The CD closes with “Mrs.
Magic,” a groovy, but darker sounding tune, especially
with the organ thrown in.
You can tell throughout this CD that Shilts put his personality
on every song. They are fun, upbeat and danceable. His
sound is pure and strong. This truly is a HeadBoppin CD
through and through. There is no way you can stay still
when listening, so get up on your feet and enjoy!
- Bonnie Schendell