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CD REVIEW: Key Lime Pie - "Cookin'"
By David Lockeretz - 07/17/2002 - 04:04 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Key Lime Pie
Album: Cookin
CD Review: On this twelve-song CD, San Francisco-area Key Lime Pie lays down Southern-fried funk, blues and Cajun music with palpable enthusiasm. Right from the a capella introduction to "Lafayette Louisiana on a Saturday Night", the listener knows that they are in for a display of smoking grooves and tight musicianship. At least for the most part.

On songs such as "Lafayette" and the funky "Fox in the Henhouse", Key Lime Pie demonstrates potential to be one of the premier country-rock bands of today. The main thing holding them back is inconsistency of material and a lack of craft present in some of the songs. An example is the overlong "Golden Skies", which, despite a cool grove and interesting, almost Steely Dan-like harmonies, simply lasts too long; material is repeated and a salsa piano outro seems out of place. Similarly, the forgettable "Backstreets" covers familiar ground both lyrically and musically; it sounds like a song that didn't make the final cut of an early Springsteen album (Incidentally, a song called "Backstreets" appeared on the 1975 classic "Born to Run", but that's another ball of wax altogether.)

This is definitely a band to be reckoned with. The rhythm section of Dean Cook and Keith Ryan lays down butt-shaking grooves beneath the featured piano and Hammond B3 of Evan Palmer, who shares vocals with guitarist Tom Huebner. Art Castro adds a nice touch on percussion and harmonica; that Key Lime Pie has absorbed the influences of the Doobie Brothers, Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival without sounding too much like them is to their credit. With a little more work on the songwriting, this band will have arrived.

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