New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Month: September, 2014

A New Neil Young Album!

Hey, have you heard the new Neil Young album? Itt’s one of the good ones, sort of a blend of On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night with slightly more modern production values. It’s everything you would expect: reedy vocal harmonies, steady midtempo backbeat rock grooves, tasteful Americana touches and aching choruses that build tension and then resolve warmly. Sure, there are plenty of recycled licks from well-known album-rock radio hits, but like a lot of other artists, ole Neil has a handful of ur-melodies that he’s been known to fall back on and this is no exception.

The opening track, Woman at the Well is impeccably produced, Israel Nash’s fluttery mandolin and Eric Swanson’s lingering pedal steel adding a lushly orchestrated ambience. The soaring, atmospheric pedal steel solo out is a gem, worthy of Bill Elm of the Friends of Dean Martinez. Through the Door, another catchy, anthemic tune has tersely strummed acoustic guitar anchoring more of that lingering, ambered steel. The pensive Just Like Water works an echoey call-and-response between gritty lead guitar and resonant sheets of steel.

Who in Time follows the same contrasting dynamic:  ominously echoey, reverb-drenched electric riffs and elegant acoustic picking beneath simmering sunset steel. Myer Canyon takes an unexpected departure toward acoustic Led Zep (think Battle of Evermore) with far less bombast. The album’s longest track, Rain Plains is a mashup of Cortez the Killer and Only Love Can Break Your Heart, more or less.

Iron of the Mountain has either bass flute or mellotron (the latter is the more likely) underscoring the song’s early 70s psych-folk ambience. Mansions is the angriest cut, and features some nasty tremolo-picking. The final cut is Rexanimarum (fractured Latin for “king of the animals”), which sounds like The Band with beefier guitars and gratuitous Brooklyn references.

Uh, wait a minute. This isn’t the new Neil Young album. This is actually Rain Plains, by Israel Nash, the guy who plays mandolin and most of the guitars here. Who is Israel Nash? He’s a bushy-bearded guy who was just named artist of the month by one of the cool Austin radio stations. Guess it makes sense that if you’re gonna rip off somebody, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Shakey. In case you’re one of the many who couldn’t afford last year’s Neil Young show at that repulsive, cheaply prefabricated, already-rusting new Brooklyn stadium, or you slept on his Central Park concert the year before, Israel Nash is playing the Mercury at 7:30 PM on Oct 4 and cover is a vastly more affordable ten bucks. This guy’s music may be about as original as a Chinatown Rolex, but you can’t say it’s not good. He can play Neil Young in the movie when the time comes….or at least do the voiceovers.

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State-of-the-Art Balkan Brass Tunes and a Mehanata Show from Cocek Brass Band

Sam Dechenne plays trumpet in long-running second-wave roots reggae band John Brown’s Body. But like a lot of brass players, he’s fluent in many styles, and has a thing for Balkan music, a style he explores in first-class Boston Slavic party band Klezwoods. And that turned out to be his holy grail, no surprise considering that hearing Fanfare Ciocarlia for the first time as a middleschooler changed his life forever. He’s got a new project, Cocek Brass Band, with a blazing new album Here Comes Shlomo (a pun on Dechenne’s first name), and an album release show coming up on Oct 4 at around 9 at Mehanata. The album is streaming at the band’s music page; cover is $10 and worth it: they played a New York show this past summer at Shrine and ripped the roof off the place.

On one level, they come across as sort of a Boston counterpart to New York’s Raya Brass Band, with smart, out-of-the-box original songwriting and fearsome chops. But on album at least, Dechenne’s group focuses more on tunesmithing than volcanic jams: what soloing there is here, and there’s not a ton of it, is extremely focused and terse. The band also has a theme song, which they use to kick off the album , tuba player Jim Gray providing a rat-a-tat backdrop while the two trumpets and trombone slink their way from moody hints of reggae to rapidfire chromatics over drummer Grant Smith’s echoey tapan drumbeat.

The title track morphs back and forth between a droll disco beat and a more traditional, swaying rhythm; likewise, the band sandwiches a little New Orleans street music amidst the minor-key riffage. A slow, pensive number, Vagabond Dreamin’ balances the balmy and the bittersweet, Dechenne ornamenting his solo with spiraling Serbian phrasing. Clown Walk, a waltz, actually keeps a lid on most of the cartoonish stuff – unless you’re thinking Edward Gorey. Like most clowns, this guy seems to be a pretty disquieting guy.

Juggler’s Journey brings back a slinky, bracingly bubbly minor-key groove with subtle hints of flamenco and even hip-hop. Who Cares opens as a series of variations on a challenging, trickily rhythmic riff, then goes in a more lingering, low-key, Spanish-tinged direction before the band brings it to a boil again. The coyly titled Drone Song builds out of a suspenseful, cinematic intro to a slow waltz, animated phrasing from the trumpets rising over long sustained tones from the tuba or trombone.

Magic Man and His Magic Hat and His Magic Vest works colorful hooks over long, clip-clop vamps. Figs or Dates returns to a jaunty blend of Romany firepower and a goodnatured New Orleans strut, with a dynamic, intense, trilling Dechenne solo. The band hangs out in a major key all the way through the slow, steady A’bab Cada over the broken chords and dancing basslines emanating from Gray’s tuba. That’s right, a dancing tuba: this guy really makes the big thing sing. And then they pick up the pace at the end.

The epic Slow Jump, Fast Fall pretty much follows the tangent implied by the title: a trudge up the mountainside, a long scampering ride down the flume where Dechenne gets to air out his extended technique, and a droll return to the opening theme. The album winds up with There Goes Shlomo, a more straight-ahead variation on the title track, and then the album’s lone vocal number, Mountain Love Song. brightly cheery horns holding the center as the singer attempts to hit his notes. It’s a great album and a good indication of the blend of virtuosity and raw power that this crew brings to the stage.

A Lushly Gorgeous Global Party Album and a Subculture Show from Banda Magda

Banda Magda‘s previous album Amour, T’es La put a shimmery equatorial spin on bouncy vintage French ye-ye pop. Their new album, Yerakina (streaming at Bandcamp) is a lot more diverse, considerably darker, and has a much more global reach – and it’s pretty amazing. This time out, frontwoman/accordionist Magda Giannikou – who also plays the ancient Greek lanterna, a hauntingly rippling instrument – explores styles from the Mediterranean to the Amazon and many points in between. She sings in a warm, searching high soprano, much in the same vein as another A-list global songwriter, Natacha Atlas, and has a band to match the songs’ ambitious scope. They’re playing the album release show at 10 PM on Oct 4 at Subculture; advance tix are $18 and highly recommended. Much as Banda Magda’s albums are inventively arranged and lushly orchestrated, the band really kicks out the jams onstage.

The album opens with Sabia, a bubbly, shuffling, accordion-fueled mashup of salsa, Belgian musette, Mediterranean sun-song and a wry hint of cumbia. El Pescador, a hit for Colombia’s Totó La Momposina, gets done as a lush, elegant flamenco-jazz number, Giannikou’s balmy, pillowy vocals floating over stately piano and strings. Trata, a gorgeously swaying Middle Eastern-tinged Greek party tune with rippling hammered dulcimer, cheery brass and animated guy/girl vocals, takes on additional bulk and heft as the arrangement grows.

They contrast that with Luis Gonzaga’s Doralice, reinvented as a dancing miniature for Petros Klampanis’ bass, Giannikou’s vocals and a hint of tropical organ. The album’s title track is a swoony yet kinetic, lavishly orchestrated Greek ballad. The plaintively swinging lament Petite Fleur sounds like Chicha Libre in low-key, brooding mode, a psychedelic cumbia done as French chamber pop, while Karotseris blends Henry Mancini Vegas noir with creepy hi-de-ho swing and late 60s French psych-pop.

The album’s longest track, Cucurucu Paloma is also its quietest and most hypnotic, a hazy blend of rustic Brazilian rainforest folk and lingering psychedelia. With Giannikou’s rapidfire, precise Portuguese vocals, the final cut, Vinicius de Moraes’ Senza Paura keeps the equatorial flavor simmering as it picks up the pace. Whatever continents Banda Magda touch down on here, they find themselves at home; this is one of 2014’s best and most disarmingly charming albums.

Melanie DeBiasio Brings Her Haunting Jazz-Influenced Sonics to the Rockwood

Belgian chanteuse Melanie DeBiasio explains her music not as jazz but as influenced by it. Whatever genre she may fall into – torch song, soul, blues, indie classical or rock – it’s unquestionably noir. Go to DeBiasio’s bio at her webpage and see how gratuitously one writer managed to wrap up his review with a bit of dialogue from the classic film noir Ascenseur Pour L’Echaufaud…and the irony is that the reference actually isn’t gratuitous at all! DeBiasio has a second album, No Deal, streaming at Spotify and an album release show on Oct 1 at 8 PM at the big room at the Rockwood. The show is free but you have to rsvp to burexny@gmail.com.

DeBiasio straddles the line between brassy and brittle on the album’s achingly brief opening track, I Feel You against minimalist piano and swooshy cymbals, capping it off herself with a lingering bass flute solo. Singing in English with a bit of a Wallonian accent, she slinks into noir blues (in 11/4 time), dancing drums contrasting with ominously echoing Rhodes piano, on the album’s second track, The Flow.

DeBiasio’s stoic but wounded vocals on the album’s rainswept title track draw a straight line back to one of her big influences, Nina Simone, while the terse, pensive piano and outro atmospherics look back to Pink Floyd’s Richard Wright. Resonant piano and brushy drums build a Lynchian suspense on the instrumental With Love, followed by the swaying, syncopated noir blues Sweet Darling Pain, another vividly Nina Simone-influenced, hypnotic one-chord jam of sorts. Then DeBiasio does the same thing with I’m Gonna Leave You, a woozy electronic loop oscillating in the background. The album’s final, longest and most minimalist cut is With All My Love, eight-plus minutes of resignation and apprehension from DiBiasio against a brooding backdrop of spacious, distantly eerie drum rolls, piano and electronic atmospherics. Monochromatic? Absolutely: black and white and every shade of grey, like a good film noir.

A Methodically Riveting Laurie Anderson/Kronos Quartet Collaboration at BAM

If you’d assumed that Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet had collaborated before now, you’re not the only one. Anderson recently joked that she’d assumed as much. But the iconic minimalist violinist/composer/wit and the long-running ensemble actually haven’t worked together until now. They’re in the midst of a run through Sept 27 at BAM’s Harvey Theatre, whose barewall space, believe it or not, is very sonically welcoming to their performance of their new work, Landfall, a somberly matter-of-fact suite of sorts. While Anderson wrapped up writing it during the hurricane here a couple of years ago, its scope is considerably wider, touching on such weighty questions as one’s legacy as an artist, the failures of memory and the quirks of language that Anderson has explored throughout her career, among other things.

And much as Anderson may be best known for her acerbic sense of humor and stiletto punchlines, her work since day one has always had a sober, socially aware undercurrent. That rose to the surface with her Iraq war parable, Homeland and has remained front and center ever since, most notably throughout her searing, enveloping 2011 opus The Real New York. This new project with Kronos embodies many of these artists’ familiar tropes: hypnotic electroacoustic textures; crafty improvisation; tongue-in-cheek multimedia and sardonic narrative bits. And it’s as dark as you would imagine.

At Wednesday’s performance, the suite began with a lithely apprehensive theme over a slowly vamping backdrop. Throughout the show, Anderson alternted between her electric violin, a small keyboard on which she played moody neoromantic riffs, and a series of laptop triggers. Midway through the set, violinist John Sherba stood up and took a percussive solo, in the process activating a rapidfire projection of the words to one of the night’s most harrowing comments, one that Anderson perhaps preferred not to articulate herself.

Shortly afterward, Sherba and violinist David Harrington anchored one of the night’s several short segments in unison with the whisperiest possible staccato pedal note, a task that easily could have been assigned to one of Anderson’s machines, but which took the mystery to another level considering how much nuanced intensity the two players put into it. Cellist Sunny Yang intertwined muscular, slinky pizzicato phrases with violist Hank Dutt a little later on against Anderson’s signature, misty, brooding atmospherics. And the group built a couple of austere, horizontal vistas to unexpectedly angst-fueled crescendos, Anderson working the dynamics for all it was worth. This evening appeared to be sold out, but as of today, believe it or not, there are still a few seats left.

Dale Watson Brings His Crusade for Real Country Music to Midtown

Dale Watson‘s Tuesday night show at Slake, in the old Downtime/Albion space a couple of blocks south of Madison Square Garden, did not begin well. Much as the honkytonk outlaw has a great band, the Lone Stars – Don Pawlak on pedal steel, Chris Crepps on upright bass and Mike Bernal on drums – watching those guys without hardly any of Watson’s vocals in the mix was akin to watching George Jones lipsync. And Watson has an axe to grind. Later in the set, when at last the vocals had been brought up to audible level after repeated complaints from the crowd, he recalled being backstage at the Country Music Awards a few years back and overhearing Merle Haggard and George Jones talking. A guy in a CMA shirt walked by, and one said to the other (Watson couldn’t remember which), “CMA, that stands for Country, My Ass.”

So Watson wrote a song about it, and the rest is history. His contempt for the lightly Americana-flavored corporate pop coming out of Nashville is well known – he played that one, and bookended the set with I’d Rather Be an Old Fart Than a New Country Turd, his kiss-off to Blake Shelton. That virtriol resonated with the crowd, and Watson – a guy who knows which side his bread is buttered on – fed off it, taking requests in between sharing rounds of shots for the band furnished by liquored-up customers. He calls his music Ameripolitan rather than country since that term has been hijacked and misused in the same way that irony has been by the matching-manpurse-and-socks crowd. And when he wasn’t shilling for Lone Star Beer – his Telecaster has a Lone Star sticker on the pickguard – he was shilling for the Ameripolitan Awards, a celebration of genuine, original Americana sounds that you can participate in and vote for your favorite artists in honkytonk, rockabilly and other styles.

In between requests – a pretty thundering version of the cheating song Exit 109, the scampering cry-in-your-beer anthem Fox on the Run and others – Watson mixed up the hits with new material from a forthcoming album, which he’ll be touring with Rev. Horton Heat next year. The biggest crowd-pleaser was I Lie When I Drink – the best track on Watson’s 2013 album El Rancho Azul – inspired by a comment from a heckler responding to one of Watson’s shout-outs to Lone Star Beer.

Much as Watson’s songs can be buffoonish, he’s actually a very sophisticated, nuanced singer, pulling on and off the mic with the subtlety of a jazz singer – which, when you think about it, Watson actually is, since he plays western swing. And much as that souful baritone is what he’s best known for, he’s also an excellent guitarist, flatpicking through a Gentle on My Mind soundalike with a nonchalant expertise. He traded riffs animated with Pawlak, and gave the rhythm section plenty of space to flex their chops as well.

The rest of the set was an eclectic mix of styles: the western swing shuffle South of Round Rock; a handful of hypercaffeinated Jerry Reed-style numbers from Watson’s latest album The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy; an “obligatory” Merle cover, Silver Wings, and an unexpectedly moody new ballad before the final boisterous outro. It made sense in a city whose default music is, as Watson calls it, Ameripolitan. Who would have thought that ever would have happened, twenty years ago?

Haunting, Angst-Fueled Anthems and a Drom Show by Philly Art-Rockers Barakka

Philadelphia-based Turkish art-rock band Barakka deserve to be vastly better known than they are. Even though the majority of their lyrics are in Turkish, their relentlessly intense, mostly minor-key anthems are memorable and often haunting, transcending any language barrier. They’re playing at Drom on Oct 2 at 7:30 PM, opening for another more psychedelic (and controversial) Turkish rocker, Ahmet Muhsin. Advance tix are $20 and very highly recommended because the diaspora comes out in full force for shows like this.

Barakka’s brilliant album – streaming at their Reverbnation page – is titled Uzaklardan, meaning “far away” or “from a distance.” It’s a feeling echoed in the music’s persistent unease and frontman Baris Kaya’s recurrent themes of longing and loss. More often than not, the lead instrument is Roger Mgrdichian’s incisive, rippling oud, joining in a rich interweave with Kaya’s web of acoustic and electric guitars, William Tayoun’s elegant piano and Chris Marashlian’s kinetic bass. Multiple drummers contribute to the project, including the band’s current stickman, Jim Hamilton and the New York Gypsy All-Stars‘ Engin Gunaydin.

The opening track, Agit sets the stage, piano paired against the oud as the lithely dancing minor-key intro gives way to a crunchy, intense, anthemically swaying drive: as it crescendos, the band creates a dynamic that’s both towering and eerily rustic. The second track, simply titled X builds to a similarly angst-driven peak out of a strummy acoustic waltz. Kayip is the most American-sounding, and ironically the least musically dynamic track, winding down to down to the piano over Joseph Tayoun’s clip-clop darbouka groove.,

The bittersweet Gri Sokaklar is the gentlest number here: once again, Mgrdichian leads the band up and the piano follows. Hedye kicks off with a flurrying darbouka solo and quickly builds to a moody, haunting anthem with a tricky tempo, the wounded ache in Kaya’s voice echoed potently by Mrgdichian’s tense, upper-register oud solo. The steady, precise Yalniz Kahraman is every bit as haunting, with Kaya’s spare, echoey, bell-like guitar accents behind the oud’s stoic intensity.

Sairin Celiskisi sets anthemic mitteleuropean angst to a catchy, unexpectedly tropical pop tune with a little Middle Eastern spice. The stomping, vamping, crunchily hypnotic Hey On Besli pairs the clattering darbouka with bagpipe-like guitar – it’s the most Mediterranean-inflected track. The slow, pensive Son brings back the grey-sky anthemic ambience.The album’s final cut, Hit & Run has a metal-tinged, chromatically-charged intensity, Kaya’s eerie fuzztone lines matching the menace of the lyrics. As lushly and intricately arranged as these songs are, they sound like they’d be real showstoppers in concert.

New York Bands We Take For Granted: The Perennially Fun Chicha Libre

Musicians call it the curse of the residency. In New York, after all, bands typically don’t build a following: you play to your friends. Book yourself into a weekly residency for a month and see everybody come out for the first and last shows…if you’re lucky. Chicha Libre have managed to beat the odds, on a Monday night, of all nights. By all rights, the Brooklyn chicha revivalists would be entitled to weekends at Barbes, considering that the frontman/cuatro player and lead guitarist own the joint. But they graciously let other bands play Fridays and Saturdays and do their weekly residency/live rehearsal on a Monday…which is genius in a way, since it turns a dead night into a crazy party that probably earns the bar just as much as a Saturday.

Chicha Libre get extra props for singlehandedly spearheading the psychedelic cumbia revival: without them, it’s probably safe to say that the wild, trippy sounds of legendary Peruvian bands like Los Destellos, Los Mirlos and Juaneco y Su Combo would never have made it out of Peru. What Chicha Libre does is exactly what those cult acts were doing forty years ago, mashing up Colombian cumbia, British psychedelia and American surf rock into a trebly, trippy, intoxicating, indelibly Peruvian stoner blend. It works just as well as dance music as it does stoner music; that Chicha Libre are recognized as giants of the genre in Peru speaks to how well they’ve assimilated it. “Sorry we’re late,” cuatro player Olivier Conan told the crowd packed into the back room there a couple of Mondays ago, “It’s our only claim to authenticity.” He was being modest.

They opened and closed their first set with the silly stuff: first Flight of the Valkyries reinvented as a droll cumbia, complete with a long, echoey, dubwise intro from Josh Camp’s wah-wah electric accordion. He would go on to reference 70s arenarock schlockmeisters Styx not once but twice – this band can do funny as well as they do trippy and creepy. The last song was a cumbia version of the mid-70s instrumental novelty hit Popcorn, which they ended with a good-natured shout-out to good weed and the corn liquor (sort of the Peruvian equivalent of Olde English) from which the band takes their name. In between they did the surreal, creepy stuff, lots of it, one of the best sets they’ve ever played on their home turf.

The apprehensively Satie-esque 11 Tejones (a tejon is a badger) had echoey, resonant, tersely spaced Vincent Douglas Telecaster licks mingling with Camp’s swirly, funereal organ lines. The trickly shapeshifting Depresion Tropical – third world economics as oncoming storm – kept the uneasy slink going, followed by Papageno Electrico with its irresistible, bittersweetly ominous chorus. For diehard chicha fans, it takes a slinky early 80s style synth tune ten years back in time, when Los Destellos and their compadres were doing it much more organically and psychedelically.

After that the band treated the crowd to a long, trippy take of the Los Mirlos classic Sonido Amazonico, the title track of Chicha Libre’s brilliant 2008 debut album, Camp’s lighthearted salsa organ solo handing off to a long, hallucinatory, sunbaked one from Douglas. From there, they segued into a couple of covers, the second being another Los Mirlos tune, the scampering Muchachita Del Oriente, Douglas’ spaghetti western guitar set against a long, hypnotically crescendoing twin solo from timbalera Karina Colis and an invigorated sub conga player. They wound up the set with a raw, rugged cumbia take of the Clash’s Guns of Brixton and then a similarly edgy, sarcastic original, La Danza Del Millionario.

And a show back in August where Conan was AWOL featured a second lead guitarist firing off lightning-fast flurries of tapping and seriously metal cumbia in his place. Maybe because the guest guitarist was more familiar with iconic chicha material than Chicha Libre’s songs, that set featured a lot more stuff by Los Destellos and Juaneco. You never know what you’r going to get with this crew. And everybody was dancing. Are Chicha Libre the funnest band in New York or what? They’re back at Barbes next Monday, Sept 29 at 9:30 or so and pretty much every other Monday this year: check the Barbes calendar.

Muddy Ruckus Bring Their Darkly Inventive Americana to the Rockwood

Portland, Maine trio Muddy Ruckus call their music “stomp and swing punk.” They’re bringing their uneasy guy/girl harmonies and unique blend of string-band swing, Tom Waits-inspired circus rock and oldtimey blues to the small room at the Rockwood on Sept 27 at 9 PM. They’ve also got a stylistically diverse, carnivalesque debut album streaming at Bandcamp.

The opening track, Crawl on the Ceiling sets the tone, a brisk noir swing romp fueled by Brian Durkin’s steady bass pulse, Erika Stahl’s torchy vocal  harmonies enhancing the darkly phantasmagorical ambience. The band work their way up from skeletal to anthemic on Come with Us, lowlit by Marc Chillemi’s torchy muted trumpet. Ruby Red rises from a doomed, slow-burning electrified minor-key blues groove to a frantic sprint to the finish line, frontman/guitarist Ryan Flaherty channeling pure desperation with an unhinged solo.

Mother Mud blends oldschool 60s soul with a string band sound from forty years previously, driven by Phil Bloch’s violin. The scampering swing shuffle Bulldozer will resonate with anyone who can’t wait to get out of the “shitty town” where they grew up, as Flaherty puts it. “I don’t need your family money or drugs, ’cause I’m high on all the lies I told myself as I grew up,” he drawls sarcastically.

Butterfly Bullets adds a little cynical hip-hop edge to Waits-ish noir blues. Worse Things mashes up lazy indie rock and oldtime blues: it’s a kiss-off to an evil boss and dayjob drudgery in general. “There’s no romance that compares to the rug that’s pulled out from under your prayers,” Flaherty insists.

Convalescent Angel builds from creepy oldtime gospel ambience to anthemic menace. Infinite Repair returns to the noir swing, with a neat, flatpicked guitar solo that’s part Appalachian, part Romany jazz. Lightning, a slow waltz, mines an oldtime fire-and-brimstone vernacular anchored by Durkin’s stygian bowing. Stahl sings Bag of Bones, a dancing, dixieland-flavored swing tune. The album’s final track, On and On, is a loping, hypnotic rock nocturne: thematically, it’s out of place, but it’s not bad.

Another Fun Album and a Jalopy Show by the Two Man Gentlemen Band

For about the past ten years, the Two Man Gentlemen Band – tenor guitarist Andy Bean and bassist Fuller Condon – have entertained crowds with their irrepressible, toe-tapping oldtimey sounds. Their previous album Two At a Time was a collection of drinking songs and will probably go down in history as a classic of its kind, if you buy the premise that drinking songs can be classic. Their latest release, aptly titled Enthusiastic Attempts At Hot Swing and String Band Favorites (streaming at Spotify), is a bit, um, more serious. Its unifying theme is old songs about US states and specific locales. Much as the two gents’ cred as connoisseurs of early swing, blues, jazz and hillbilly sounds is well known, the album is sort of a resume that you can dance to. It’s something a booking agent can use to score a gig at a fancy sit-down jazz club, and also something you can enjoy over cocktails at home without paying fancy sit-down jazz club prices. The two gentlemen – who are likely to be joined by other gentlemen onstage- have a gig coming up on Sept 26 at 9 PM at the Jalopy; cover is $15. It’s the obvious place to see these guys, not only since they’ll probably take advantage of the venue’s penchant for using a single, central onstage mic, just as the band recorded these songs, live to analog tape.

A lot of the songs here are ones you know, like the characteristically jaunty take of My Blue Heaven that opens the album. Back Home in Indiana is much the same; These Foolish Things, as you would expect, is more low-key, in a plaintive Matt Munisteri vein. The funniest track is Beale Street Mama, capped off with dixieland-flavored clarinet and banjo; the most surreal, and surprisingly, period-perfect number here is Chinatown, My Chinatown.

Time Changes Everything features cocktail drums – as do most of the songs here – along with mandolin and accordion. Likewise, Some of These Days also has acccordion on it, adding a Romany jazz edge. The shuffling Palm Springs Jump has wry trombone-ish vocalese and a flurrying Bean guitar solo. They do On the Sunny Side of the Street and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love as droll Gatsby swing crooner tunes, while Sweet Irene from Illinois bounces along with a rustic 20s string band feel.

There are also a trio of excellent instrumentals: a spiky swing through The Dallas Rag, a version of Jackson Stomp that’s so tight it ticks, and a lively take of East Tennessee Blues. All this further cements the group’s reputation as one of the most reliably fun vintage Americana acts out there.