Tommy Malone

Given their Boulder, Colorado, hometown, dicey name and jambo-band rep, the Subdudes were easy to dismiss out of hand before ever hearing their music. If you knew they originally hailed from New Orleans, though, you might’ve been more inclined to dial in, and you would have been well rewarded with a near-ideal mix of singer-songwriter form and Vieux Carre funkadoo. Former Subdudes frontman Malone continues that tradition here. Where Soul Heavy is on the one is when it’s slow simmered to perfection, as on the nicely percolating “Virginia Street” or the gauzily soulful title cut; Malone’s heartfelt vocals lie somewhere between Ron Sexsmith and Gregg Allman, and the musicians sound well versed in kitchen metaphors. On the weaker side are cuts like “Somebody Got Caught,” impaired not so much by the use of a soprano sax as much as by Kenny G’s earlier misuse of one. Overall, though, worth hunting down.