The cover and inside booklet of Down to the Bone's second album shows a variety of rare-groove record stores (both inside and out), displaying racks of records by Weather Report, Lonnie Liston Smith and Donald Byrd. The music itself is a delicious update of those same sounds – yes, the grooves are tighter and have a bit of hip-hop bounce, but the soloing is far and away superior to most acid-jazz releases. Programmers and group frontmen Stuart Wade and Chris Morgans have the irresistible knack of translating their influences into an instantly familiar yet radically different style of music, and the results are uniformly excellent. Original Blue Note recording artist Reuben Wilson guests on Hammond organ for "Vinyl Junkie."
The veteran Chicago harpist's long-overdue debut album is quite credible, but you can't help but think he's got a far more satisfying set within him yet. Dreary backing by the overly cautious Ice Cream Men is the prime reason the set only occasionally soars – with a less derivative combo, Wheeler could come up with something special before he's through.