Arts, Entertainment, Living
It's new CD time again -- I seem to have a never-ending supply. And once again, these are two regional bands (from other regions, or course), and each has a CD that's pleasantly unique, and featuring lots of good music.
First is a band that comes from Bowie, Md. (not all that far), calling itself Retro Deluxe and led by an irascible-sounding singer named Bobby Joe Owens with a vintage approach that's part blues, part rockabilly, and entirely enjoyable.
The album, "Watermelon Tea" (Rinkled Rooster Records) was produced by Jimbo Mathus at his Mississippi Delta Recording Service, where he also contributed drums, some guitar, harp and a few backing vocals.
It's an album of original music by band manager Robert J. Thompson, and music that sounds fresh in its oldness. The band lays down blues grooves, bounces with rockabilly sensibilities and generally just swings and shuffles through the 16 tracks. These guys have a great feel for their music, and the result is music that feels great. Here's a video of the title track:
The other band, Grand Marquis, is based in Kansas City, and also takes pleasure in vintage music with its latest CD, "Hold On To Me" (GM Records).
But this hot little group plays variations on jazz, blues and swing, and manages to sound a lot like many of their historic predecessors on the Midwest band scene.
Bryan Redmond leads the group on vocals and also handles multiple sax roles, plus they add a trumpet, guitar, upright bass, percussion and sousaphone to round out their swinging sound.
They play mostly covers here, but great covers of great music -- "Good Rockin' Tonight," "Dinah," "Saint James Infirmary" and "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" offer a sample of their approach. If you enjoy traditional jazz and jump blues, you might want to catch GM's fresh approach.
Here's a video: