Title: Raise Up
Artist: Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
Label: Moosicus Records
Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: September 25, 2012
It’s been almost 13 years since Larry Graham & Graham Central Station have released an album. Fortunately for funk fans, the group has now returned with Raise Up, an optimistic album supported by the likes of Prince and Raphael Saadiq.
Much of the content in Raise Up revolves around a positive and inspiring message. This is mainly presented through a high-energy, bass-heavy instrumentation. In no better way is this executed than with the cover of the Stevie Wonder classic “Higher Ground,” which features Larry Graham’s signature bass slapping technique. Prince adds his considerable talents to the project, overdubbing guitar licks on “Movin’” and singing and jamming on keyboards, drums, and guitar on “Raise Up” and “Shoulda Coulda Woulda,” while singer/guitarist Raphael Saadiq is featured on “One Day.” Along with these contributions, Graham Central Station has come back in style, albeit in a slightly different line-up, with vocalist Ashling Cole, keyboardist David Council, and drummer Brian Braziel joining longtime guitarist and vocalist Wilton Rabb. The title of track two aptly sums up the album: Larry Graham & Graham Central Station are still “Throw-N-Down the Funk!”
Reviewed by Ian Hallagan