recipeThe Recipe – Stir the Pot

by Ryan Neeley

Growing up in the northern West Virginia area and “cutting my teeth”, so to speak, on homegrown, roots based rock and roll in the early 90’s in the Morgantown, WV region during my college years, The Recipe became one of my favorite bands.  I was one of the “porch people” the band sang about, partying my nights away at late night picking parties on a couch on someone’s front stoop.   But times have changed over the years, and with age comes responsibility, careers, and children; however, my musical tastes have not, so I was excited to review The Recipe’s new release, Stir the Pot, their first release since 2006 and first with the new lineup, which has been together for four years.  “That’s the longest we’ve ever had the same lineup, and we really work well together and are on the same page, so it looks like this will be the lineup for a long time,” guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe Prichard, the bands longtime leader, said in a recent conversation with Appalachian Jamwich.

As I listened to the new release, I couldn’t help but notice that like myself, this is a more mature, thought out album then what was put out in the early part of the millennium.  The songwriting is fabulous, led by Prichard and vocalist Shannon Jones, who brings a soft but jovial sound to the band along with extraordinary songwriting.   For long time fans of the group, there is still a lot of good-time, party worthy selections on the album that will remind you of the Recipe that you came to know and love.   But there are also beautiful ballads and heavenly harmonies that reflect a band that has grown up over the years and continues to evolve.

The album starts out with Momentum, which is old school Recipe.  Each member pitches in and introduces the listener to their individual sounds, woven together to create a dance heavy number that’s sure to be a fan favorite.  Mike Mitchell adds a fiery fiddle and saxophonist Jon Banco shine right off the jump on this one, with a latin-infused backbeat laid down by percussionist Tom Kirk and bassist Diana Burton. They follow up with Every Single Thing, which shows the more mature side of the Recipe, and as is the case with much of the album, Jones and Prichard’s harmonies make it seem like they’ve been singing together since birth.

Other favorites of mine include Love in the End, where the band trades in the acoustic guitars for a more electric feel, and Diamonds Down the Drain, a fast paced song with catchy lyrics.  Throughout the album, the Recipe shows down-home earthy songwriting that Recipe fans have came to know and love, and it seems that there although they’ve slowed down their pace a touch, the Jones-Prichard songwriting combination is a match made in heaven.  Maybe the songs on the album aren’t all about the joy you get at the bottom of a Mason jar and more about love and life, but I guarantee long time fans of the Recipe and new fans alike can enjoy Stir the Pot.  The Recipe, it seems, have put the right ingredients in place, with touches of folk, country, roots, reggae, funk and rock to continue to keep their music alive and bring unique new sounds to the fans that have grown up with them.   And if you see them live, you will agree that a Recipe show still carries that high energy, dance heavy, celebratory vibe that keeps you coming back for seconds.

For more information on The Recipe, click here

Check out the 15th annual Recipe Family Cookout at Poston Lake State Park in September!