I ride for 3rdEyeGirl forever. I might not be the biggest rock & roll guy, but goddamn this band rocks. They could bring the funk, too. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching one of their shows from the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival stop what you’re doing immediately and watch this (or wait until you have two free hours). You might think Prince having three beautiful women in his band was some kind of gimmick but you couldn’t be more wrong. They can play with any band I’ve ever heard. Guitarist Donna Grantis not only holds her own when sharing a stage with Prince, but her 2019 solo album, Diamonds & Dynamite, is a fun listen. It’s a Bitches Brew-esque jazz fusion album and showcases a side of her you don’t get with 3rdEyeGirl. I’m honestly not sure what Hannah Welton has done musically since her days with Prince, but her drumming with 3rdEyeGirl reminds me of Mitch Mitchell’s work with Jimi Hendrix. Not only is Ida Nielsen one of the baddest bassists I’ve ever heard, she shares the same name as my grandmother who passed away three years ago this week. While they do not pronounce their names the same, I can’t see it without smiling and thinking of the time we told grandma we’d consider naming one of our daughters after her and she said she’d kill us if we did because she didn’t like her name. Whatever. I only know of two Idas and they’re both awesome.
The reviews of 3rdEyeGirl’s only album, 2014’s Plectrumelectrum, were not necessarily favorable and I’ve never understood it. I come back to this album frequently. I struggle to think of a Prince album in 40 years of recording music that rocks harder from start to finish. They brought out a side of Prince that we didn’t see frequently. If you go back to the YouTube link above check out their harder version of “Let’s Go Crazy” or “Dreamer.” Of course, every song on the album didn’t rock, and perhaps the most chill song on the album was today’s choice, “Tictactoe.” It’s a lovely, dreamy downtempo production with Prince and Hannah sharing lead vocals singing in unison with no harmony. An enjoyable example of the fact that they could play something breezy as well as they could rock.
I love Plectrumelectrum and 3rdEyeGirl, and while I think this is a fine song, it’s not one of my favorites on the album. I’m going to score it right down the middle and look forward to tackling more of the 3rdEyeGirl album down the road. I also wouldn’t complain if they wanted to make more music together without Prince. I’d get on board with that immediately.