Roots-rocker Sam Price leads his outfit into its first full album a little less eager to make you dance. Still, Sam’s True Believers prove plenty capable of moving feet with this record’s opening track, “Nothing But Love,” and the Meters homage “Stand Up.” Otherwise, this is less of a playlist for Saturday night than it is for Sunday morning. It allows the group to indulge not just in their mellow side, but also to stretch out in the sun and show what the band is really capable of, stylistically. Keyboardist Phil Breen provides plenty of local flavor—using what sounds like a Wurlitzer electric piano to play brilliant Fess licks—and Sam’s voice comes off as comforting, and as welcoming as a coffee commercial.
Lyrically, the True Believers are a little more standoffish, though. “Old Jim Crow” moves so well that it succeeds despite itself: It offers up no insights on racism’s recent rebound, but it certainly feels like a hex to ward it off. Likewise, “God’s Song” indicates our Fall From Paradise, even as “I’ll Meet You There” indicates our return. Still, it’s got such a cozy country-soul glow that the details seem negligible. The title track is the real standout, however, a mixture of light Afrobeat percussion and acoustic Delta blues that really makes you feel like you’re lying in the tall grass. Lazy summer mornings will soon be upon us again, and this warm embrace of a record might be your perfect backdrop.