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0 Steve Arrington Slides into a Pure Funk Thang

  • Audio
  • by Kingsley H. Smith
  • 12/04/2009

I was pleasantly surprised with the good news about Steve Arrington's new 2009 release, Pure Thang, a collection containing 17 tracks.

Arrington was the vocalist fronting Slave, and Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame.

These groups brought us "Just a Touch of Love," Slide," Weak at The Knees," as well as other hits.

When Steve left classic soul to become a minister in the early 1990's, one assumed that his funky grooves would forever take a back seat to sacred melodies.



Like the metamorphosis of Al Green, and to a greater extent former Isley Brother Chris Jasper, Pure Thang keeps a legacy sound authentic while seeding the songs with positive spiritual messages.

This record is definitely a funk album, however Steve subtlety works in lyrical references to reflect his faith and beliefs while keeping the devotional anecdotes about love respectful.

There are lots of positive messages to pick up on between the funky grooves.

Pure Thang is heavy on the bass and percussion, a signature Steve Arrington treatment.

He plays most of the instruments on several tracks. Guest musicians round out the sound on other songs throughout the project.

Arrington has his own style. He improvises a lot lyrically travelling through these tunes while keeping the pace lively.

You'll find two instrumentals, "Coolin" and "Sunrise." These are jazzy mid tempo movements providing a couple of 'time out' breaks from his gritty n' glorious groove.

The ballad "Song for Coretta and Rosa" is an ode to two great women of civil rights history.

Spiritual shout outs don't distract from the fun as the tone of Pure Thang is to entertain rather than to preach.

My favorite track is "Soul Food," a driving culinary confection complete with yummy references to 'stick to your ribs' delights.

Arrington praises all things wonderful at the dinner table, including family, tradition, and history. He then tips his hat to both Marvin Gaye, and the Staple Singers.

"Right On Time" talks about the beauty of a romantic relationship blessed and guided by virtuous good.

In "The Devil Can't Sing Amazing Grace," Steve asserts that 'the devil doesn't run the show any more.'

"It's True" follows the 'devil' track and pulls no punches with it's message of salvation.

Steve reminds us with glee that 'you know this funk it's got power' in "Power." Funk rules.

Overall, Pure Thang is a welcome return for Steve Arrington. When an artist writes, arranges, and produces their own album, it's hard to objectively balance the right mix of creative variety while you wear all the hats.

I think some additional collaboration with other talent might have pushed Steve a little further. With that said, the stand-out tracks help sustain continuity throughout the release.

The arrangements are not overly elaborate, keeping the funk groove up front without complicated distractions.

Listen to 30 seconds of "Holla" from Pure Thang,

Steve Arrington Pure Thang:


  • "Right Here Right Now"
  • "I'm on Fire"
  • "Time To Ride"
  • "Nobody Else"
  • "I Like What You Do"
  • "Song For Coretta and Rosa"
  • "Coolin"
  • "Right There"
  • "Power"
  • "Holla"
  • "Sunrise"
  • "Tones"
  • "Soul Food"
  • "Pure Thang"
  • "Right On Time"
  • "The Devil Can't Sing Amazing Grace"
  • "It's True"


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Steve Arrington Slides into a Pure Funk Thang
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