Hot Toddy – Late Night Boogie review

Chris Todd ended a three year production hiatus for his Hot Toddy project in 2009 with the release of slow burning disco bomb “I Need Love”, which remained on the sleazy side of the 100 BPM barrier and featured the wonderfully deep croon of Ron Basejam. Todd, who also keeps busy as a writer, producer, guitarist, keyboard player and general knob twiddler for legendary live act Crazy P, returns here with Late Night Boogie, the first LP release on Om offshoot Smoke ‘n’ Mirrors.

Unsurprisingly, the album maintains a live feel throughout, such is Todd’s skill in this department. Two superb collaborations with Crazy P vocalist Danielle Moore sandwich the funk-infused guitar lick of “On The 1AM” – the first, “Freekend”, comes in on an 80s boogie tip, while “Won’t Let Go” sees Moore’s faultless vocal delivery ride atop moody atmospherics and vintage synth flourishes. Jennifer Rhonwen comes from nowhere to provide arguably the album’s finest moment on “Down To Love”, on which delicious jazzy keys and subtle instrumentation straddle Rhonwen’s stunning vocal delivery for an utter gem of a song. Todd dispenses with vocals on “Phantom Jam”, thus allowing the low slung guitar hook to take centre stage, while the album’s title track shimmers with an early morning glow, before nice string arrangements and twinkling keys combine on “Don’t Look Back” to bring the album to a gentle close.

Aaron Coultate