Organ Freeman used their rock-solid funk foundation to build a gorgeous new set of songs on their latest release, Respect My Art. Since their debut album in 2015, Organ Freeman has managed to grow tighter as musicians and looser as a band at the same time. With Respect My Art, guitarist Erik Carlson, drummer Rob Humphreys , and the man on the titular organ, Trevor Steer, have delivered an outstanding collection of instrumental tunes that are guaranteed to get listeners moving and grooving. Stream Organ Freeman’s latest below, then read on to hear Live For Live Music’s thoughts on this new album.
Respect My Art starts off with a strong statement of intent from Organ Freeman. If respect is what they want, then all they have to do is keep producing music like the first track “Long Live The King.” Steer’s speedy and precision-drilled leads barely give his expansive instrument the opportunity to fully form notes as it bubbles along. The intensity of the lead line is only possible thanks to the impressive pocket work of percussionist Humprey’s and the clean, swirling rhythms and fills from Carlson. This “all-for-one” spirit is a sure sign of artists on the same page and who have left all traces of ego at the door.
Humphreys steps into focus for “Byrd vs. Fish”, although with Organ Freeman’s status as a trio, the rest of the band isn’t far away. The more flashy guitar parts show Carlson’s range but also comment on his ability to show restraint. It’s hard not to light the world on fire when you have a flamethrower in your hands, and Humphreys knows when to flame on and when to hang back. “Got Change For A Nickel?” brings both a sonic change as well a change of pace by adding some delightful scat singing to the mix. Humphreys gets a chance to lead the way on “The Green Green Grapes”, which rolls and bounces to his beat with a decidedly New Orleans flair. The splashy cymbals and crisp stickwork mix with the horns’ fills and the gurgling organ to produce one of the most energetic pieces on Respect My Art.
On “Don’t Eat Your Fingers”, Organ Freeman seems to find the perfect balance between their many diverse flavors. Each player shines at the same time, and no one is looking to outdo the other. The group’s collective will to consistently offer the best of their sound is evident on every tune, including “E.T. AF.” The band flows along with no lead baton to pass. Organ Freeman is, at its core, a trio of musicians eager to go to the same place together while walking in their own singular stride.
Album closer “Fly You Fools!” is a perfect closing statement from Organ Freeman and what they hoped to accomplish. Tempos rise and fall and shredding guitar tones contrast against rashing percussion and throbbing and droning organ waves, as listeners are swept away by the powerful sonic tide. If Respect My Art is what these gentlemen are capable of after just a couple short years of existence, then music fans should be truly excited for the future. If Organ Freeman keeps up this pace, there is no limit to where they can take their art, and there is no question it will be well respected.