Ten Summer Barbeque Discs for 2002
First Appeared at The Music Box, July 2002, Volume 9, #7
Written by T.J. Simon
Ah, listen to those veggie burgers sizzle (does tofu sizzle?). The weather is breaking, the Cubs are losing, and that can only mean one thing: Summertime is here, and it’s time to barbecue. Here are ten recent CD releases, in no particular order, to serve as the soundtrack to your backyard horseshoe games.
- 1 -
Gamble Brothers Band
10 Lbs. of Hum
Memphis gets an invite to the house this summer with the debut release from the Gamble Brothers Band. The brothers in question are Al Gamble on lead vocals/keyboards and Chad Gamble on percussion. They are joined by bandmates Art Edmaiston on sax and Will Lowrimore on bass. No guitars? That’s right, this is funky Memphis soul so thick you can smell the sauce. A cacophony of horns, drums, organs, and vocals recalling the sounds of Boz Scaggs and Steely Dan make this soulful, jazzy release a tasty summer treat. Be sure to check out the tracks Blue Beat Years and Numbers Never Lie. ½
- 2 -
Show Me Something
(Maison de Soul)
It’s just not a summer backyard party without the kids dislocating limbs on the slip-n-slide over the sounds of Louisiana Zydeco music, and the current queen of the genre is Rosie Ledet. Hailing from Church Point, Louisiana, the lovely Ledet tears through a dozen spicy Zydeco numbers seasoned with her accordion and the unmistakable sound of a spoon being scraped upon a washboard in a furious shuffle. She pays tribute to the sound of her inspiration, the late Boozoo Chavis, on Show Me Something, Hello Baby, and several other original Creole soul compositions. Unfortunately there is also a weak, but forgivable, cover of Lady Marmalade.
Show Me Something is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
- 3 -
The Meat Purveyors
All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail
Nothing accompanies the construction of a charcoal briquette pyramid like down-home bluegrass music, and nobody delivers the fast pickin’ thrills as sweetly and completely as Austin’s The Meat Purveyors. After the 1999 release of More Songs about Buildings and Cows, it looked like this Texas ensemble was going to call it quits forever. However, The Meat Purveyors reassembled for this recent release with a title that puts the long-term prospects of the band into serious question. Yet, there is no question about the quality of the music on the album. The Meat Purveyors remains a collection of talented musicians who can tear through a funny bluegrass song with instruments ablaze and tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. Sassy Jo Walston supplies the lead vocals under her teased hair and over the compositions of the band’s musical leader Bill Anderson. As on previous releases, The Meat Purveyors covers unlikely songs in a bluegrass style with Abba’s S.O.S., Ratt’s Round and Round, and Nick Lowe’s Without Love receiving likable hillbilly makeovers. More than just a novelty band, these are all accomplished artists with tremendous respect for the genre and a commitment to a good time. ½
All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
- 4 -
Live at the Florence Little Theater
Blue Dogs is a quartet that hails from Charleston, South Carolina and has a massive regional following in the Southeastern U.S. Fawning fans and new converts will certainly dig the mostly-acoustic, roots-rock music on this seventeen-track live disc recorded at the band’s annual Thanksgiving show in Florence, South Carolina (known as "Flotown" to the initiated). With a large cast of supporting musicians and friends, the group wins over listeners from the first chords of a spirited cover of John Prine’s Picture Show. The original compositions written by band members are full of amusing, friendly lyrics as evidenced on tracks Lazy Man and Long Gone Goodbye. Covers of the traditional On the Road Again as well as Three Dog Night’s Never Been to Spain will keep the Americana spirit alive and well in your backyard music and sack race exposition.
Live at the Florence Little Theater is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
- 5 -
The next time some wise guy asks "Which Exit?" when you mention New Jersey, remind him that there’s a lot to like about the Garden State besides the turnpike. As an example, you can point out the Hoboken power-pop trio True Love, whose self-titled debut album recalls the catchy alterna-pop music of Elvis Costello, Guided By Voices, and Cheap Trick. The lion’s share of the tracks on this disc could easily be hits, especially Foreign Picture Books, Hey Man, and Better Living Through Chemistry. The songs are all uncomplicated, unpretentious, and fun. Buy this one soon, and when this group breaks through a year from now, your friends will remember that you played it on the stereo during your annual summer badminton tourney. ½
- 6 -
Does anyone else out there really, really miss the glory days of The Who? While nothing can truly fill that void, Oregon’s UHF makes a valiant effort. Not only does the group evoke the sounds of Tommy-era Townshend and Daltrey, but UHF does it in the world’s most dangerous format: the concept album. Lottery tells the story of two best friends who grow into separate and distinct suburban lives. Within the body of this loose plot, listeners are treated to sixteen likable songs in the mod tradition with tight melodies and memorable hooks from yesteryear. Check out Half of the Day and Best Friends for a fresh walk down memory lane with your own best friends. ½
Lottery is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
- 7 -
Twice As Gone
Stateside, the Nashville power pop outfit with roots in the V-Roys (songwriter John Paul Keith was a founding member), tears through a dozen hook-heavy southern pop tunes like the band was possessed with the spirit of Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones. Is that Ryan Adams singing in the background? Yes it is. (Keith is also a member of Adams’ other band The Pinkhearts). Songs such as After Dark and Twice as Gone exemplify what rock and roll should be: heartfelt, harmonious, and catchy as hell. The disc drags a bit at the end, but Stateside delivers enough quality tunes to make this a worthy summer purchase.
- 8 -
In Our Gun
T.J. Simon's #18 album for 2002
Gomez is a Brit-rock band that has morphed into a Brit-techno-rock band on this fantastic, electronically-enhanced third release. The album draws upon influences of The Beta Band, Beck, Tahiti 80, and Pearl Jam. All three front men share vocal duties with three unique voices — two sounding distinctly British and the third recalling Eddie Vedder. When they harmonize, it sounds like a piece of heaven floating down from the summer sky. The current college radio single is Shot Shot, but to hear the finest Gomez has to offer, give the track Detroit Swing 66 a listen. Get a jump on your friends and buy In Our Gun soon because this album likely will be on many "Best Of 2002" lists.
In Our Gun is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
- 9 -
The Baldwin Brothers
Cooking with Lasers
The time has come for the party to get out of hand. You need something truly funky and fun to turn your get-together into a throw-down, booty-shaking bash. Forget Moby — you need the Baldwin Brothers. The band name has no relation to the acting family of Alec, Stephen, Billy, and Zeppo; it derives from a convoluted story involving a childhood insult and a Baldwin piano. The mostly instrumental foursome mixes live instruments with samples, funky beats, and a few guest vocalists. It’s dance music, lounge music, turntable acrobatics, and acid jazz on one delicious disc. Think Liquid Soul meets Fatboy Slim meets Dan the Automator. Turn it up, and dare the neighbors to call the fuzz.
Cooking with Lasers is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
- 10 -
The Goshorn Brothers
Ever wonder what happened to Larry Goshorn of Pure Prairie League? Okay, me neither, but as it turns out, he has recorded a pretty good album with his brother Tim and a talented cast of supporting musicians. At times, the music stirs memories of working-stiff rocker Bob Seger (Trouble and Strife), but most of the time the band sounds like Eric Clapton’s recent light bluesy rock work (Fireman and Between You and the Blues). Is this the best band Cincinnati has to offer? Probably not, but it will make a nice accompaniment to your bug zapper and a cold beer on the back porch after the guests go home.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box