Review by David Jeffries
Collecting the jam bandy instrumental funksters Soulive is a great idea, since most people with passing interest in music know someone "way into them" and have probably come across a glowing review of their live shows. Then there's problem of whether you start with a live album or a studio album or a remix album or an album with plenty of guest spots. Steady Groovin' gives the newbie a smattering of them all, plus a couple numbers you won't acquire when you succumb to their Hammond organ-based funk and head back to the record store. The breezy and freewheeling "All Up in It" comes from the band's guest spot on DJ Spinna's Here to There, while the band's cover of Stevie Wonder's "Golden Lady" was only available on the Japanese edition of Soulive's Doin' Something. These are great bonuses, and what the compilers chose to represent the band's regular albums is pleasing, too. You get a taste of Soulive's live show, a bit of the band's work with Fred Wesley, and a touch of cerebral hip-hop courtesy of Roots member Black Thought. All that said, their traditional albums have a lot of thought put into the overall flow, but as an intro or portable sampler, Steady Groovin' succeeds.