Rick “Poppa” Howard – I Won’t Lay Back review

Artist: Rick ‘Poppa’ Howard
Title: I Won’t Lay Back
Label: HHYR/Rush Hour
Genre: Deep House
Format: 12″, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

It’s a no brainer for DJs to drop a classic house track at peak time in a club, just as much as those on the dance floor would love to dance to it. It’s just that the old stuff emits so much soul, positivity, and most of all, love. I’m talking about deep house, Chicago style.

The HHYR label returns with another refreshing release, “I Won’t Lay Back” by Rick Howard, produced by his son, Tevo Howard (Beautiful Granville, Flo Crew). With the duo originally hailing from Chicago, the nostalgic appeal of the record’s old school windy city roots is undeniable. Right from the get-go, the lush ‘Original Vocal’ does just that. With its upbeat catchy house keys, hi-hats, soulful house vocals on a pulsating 4/4, it’s definitely one to fill up the dance floor. The slightly more polished ‘Underground Vocal mix’ edges out the original by just a hair, by extending it, therefore allowing it to breathe a little more. The intro is slightly different, with other new sounds sprinkled here and there.

“About Fourteen (Remix)” takes the cake here – a definite after hours crowd pleaser. It’s slower and deeper, and bumps up the lean original with great chords and rolling baseline. It simply oozes the warm, silky brilliance of Mr. Fingers and Marshall Jefferson with stunning results.

Already garnering much respect by the Innervisions and Clone crews, 2010 looks very promising for this dynamic duo. With Rick now based in Berlin, and Tevo moving to Europe as well, it will be exciting to see how that will influence their style and take their Chicago sound into the future. For now, crank it up, close your eyes, and bask in the love. It’s peak time.

Review: Shingo Shimizu