Bey stands out as a singer (in my review of "Soul of the Blues" I compared him to Solomon Burke and Mighty Sam McClain) and he puts his stamp on everything here (except the instrumental "Noel's Haze") starting with the autobiographical opening "Black Bottom" where he sings about growing up in the Georgia sticks and now fronting a eight-piece band. Its slightly swampy feel is followed by the deep funk of "Kiss Me Like You Mean It," with some nifty guitar runs from Paule and greasy organ from Lufrano with punchy horns. Mike Rinta and Paule are responsible for the popping horn arrangements throughout. One track with punchy horns is the driving original from Bey, Paule and Christine Vitale, "Right In Front Of You," about a guy who understands the woman's problems but can't win her heart. It has strong playing from Lufrano on piano and Paule on guitar.
Vitale and Paule contribute "Next To My Heart" that comes off like a vintage seventies deep southern soul recorded at Muscle Shoals with an outstanding Bey vocal. "Nobody's Angel," another Vitale original, evokes some of Clarence Carter's recordings, with its storytelling and message and is wonderfully delivered by Bey and the band. The title track is a terrific rocker with a wonderful groove and Rinta delivering a superb trombone solo wonderfully framed by the other horns and the chicken fried organ. "Don't Ask Me How I Feel" is a blues performance that to these ears comes off as a cross of Al Kooper mixed with Donny Hathaway with perhaps the best horn arrangement here.
On "Not Goin' Away," the Bey Paule Band again provide listeners with a superb soul and blues recording. The album has a strong and varied program that is consistently well sung and performed. Certainly anyone who enjoyed "Soul of the Blues" will enjoy this, while fans of soul and blues who may not have heard them previously will find much to savor on this stunning recording.
A publicist sent me my review copy. While written for Jazz & Blues Report, I do not believe this review has been published. Here is a video of the Bey-Paule Band performing.