You may not know the name Dennis Coffey, but there is little chance you haven’t heard his distinctive guitar work. Whether on Edwin Starr’s “War,” The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing,” or as part of the dozens of songs that have sampled his billboard topping single “Scorpio,” Coffey has had a long and distinguished career that began in the early 60’s with Motown Records. And at the far side of 60, it’s pretty amazing that Coffey is still bringing the funk at this level.Kicking the self-titled album off with “7th Galaxy” a high energy, funk-fused jam is the only real misstep on the album, as the track does a poor job of setting the tone. But the album soon settles into a deep groove with funky-fried and souled-out songs like the excellent cover of Wilson Pickett’s “Don’t Knock My Love,” and the smooth “All Your Goodies Are Gone,” featuring Mayer Hawthorne. Occasionally, Coffey does go back to the free form style, like on “Plutonious,” but the song is much more at home within the album, rather than kicking it off. In addition to the already mentioned Wilson Pickett cover, check “I Bet You” for some of the best funk you could ask for.
For someone as distinguished as Coffey, he doesn’t seem to mind sharing the limelight on his album. Every song features his well measured lead guitar, but he often plays the background with a funky riff while letting his supporting cast get their shine. The guest singers all deliver, the commanding bass is a joy to listen to, and the horn section is razor sharp. Overall, the album displays an artist in total command of his style and vision, which only makes sense considering how long and accomplished Dennis Coffey’s career has been.