“Following last year’s critically hailed Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead, drummer Scott Amendola and guitarist Charlie Hunter return with another album, but this time the focus is on the drummer’s evocative compositions. Pucker is a lean and sinewy session marked by fierce grooves, caressing melodies, introspective balladry, and startlingly intuitive interplay. What’s most impressive about Pucker is the range of moods and textures the duo creates. The album opens with ‘Leave On,’ a tribute to the late great Levon Helm that’s almost intoxicated by its own high-stepping swagger. ‘Scott’s Tune’, the album’s only non-Amendola track, was written by Amendola’s grandfather – the late, highly regarded New York session guitarist Tony Guttuso – which ended up as a loose and limber bluesy stroll powered by Amendola’s graceful brush work.
Pucker marks a milestone for Amendola and Hunter, who first played together 20 years ago. Hunter says, ‘what I love about Scott is that I know he’s not going to play the obvious things when I call on something, and I know it’s going to groove’.” – Andy Gilbert