A region with a distinctive culture, the music, food and language of New Orleans, Louisiana clearly influenced the title of local native Jeff Bradshaw sophomore album, Bone Appétit. The French rooted phrase Bon Appétit was created as a way to say enjoy your meal, and an album title referencing this phrase would suggest that the artist is delivering soulful music with a plentiful assortment of heat – which this is what Bradshaw does beautifully. 

A double disc project serving with 13-tracks of Bone Appétit Vol. 1 Main Course and seven more on Deuxieme Course,  Bradshaw provides 20 variations of rich soul and a vibrant musical experience and shines a glaring light on the plight in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that the forgotten residents are still facing. 

Following the release of his debut project Bone Deep, which featured an A-List roster of soulful artists including Jill Scott and Glenn Lewis, Bradshaw returns to that formula, gathering a host of strong collaborations from Kindred the Family Soul (“All Day Lovin”), Raheem DeVaughn (“Til’ Tomorrow“) Floacist (“I See The Sunshine”) and Marsha Ambrosius (“Got ‘Til It’s Gone”).

Drawing from a wide range of influences including Frankie Beverly & Maze, Tony Toni Tone and Mos Def/Yasin Bey, Bone Appétit seamlessly bridges the age gap between a diverse audience; the album’s seasoned features complimenting the more mature listeners with the likes of Kindred, whilst the popular tracks chosen to cover will be familiar to his younger fans.

Bone Appétit opens with “Searchin’,” which sets the tone for what will come next, and gives a good lead in to “Til Tomorrow,” featuring Raheem Devaughn and Ms. Jade. Entwined with whispers and sexual but tasteful lyrics, the song is perfect for Devaughn.

The Kindred collaboration “All Day Lovin” sounds like a lover’s paradise, with mellow production as well mixed as the Cajun spices synonymous with Bradshaw’s home, with convincing lyrics and delivery.

One of the first leaks from the album, Janet Jackson’s recreation of her classic, “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Twyse makes for an album highlight.  The song starts with what appears to be live vocals from Ambrosius within the scratches. 

Bradshaw explains that he chose to recreate this song because, “I was always a fan of the Janet Jackson song and I wanted to record it because it spoke to what was happening down here in New Orleans. 

“I wanted to remind everyone that there is still work to be done in New Orleans.  People think some years have gone by since Katrina and everything is cool.  But no, things are not cool.  There’s are a long way until we’re back to normal.”  

On Deuxieme Course, the two Brass Heaven collaborations “N.O. Groove,” and “Steppin Out” make for LP highlights;  “N.O. Groove” simply for the way the production develops within the song, whilst the horn-filled, go-go inspired “Steppin Out” recreation puts listeners in a mind state akin to Jill Scott’s “It’s Love.”

Throughout, Bone Appétit caters well the lovers and those who genuinely want to have a good time.  Bradshaw tastefully does his covers justice, giving them a new sound while still leaving the classics intact; they weren’t broken, so Bradshaw hasn’t tried to fix them.

Jeff Bradshaw – Bone Appétit
Released: April 24, 2012
Label: Hidden Beach
Buy: Amazon.com [Vol 1 & 2] / iTunes US Vol 1 + Vol 2