Album Reviews

By Fursee ‘O’ Veebee

Tornado Bait Teacup’s Half Full

Unfortunately due to a printing SNAFU this review did not come out correctly in the printed version so I felt the need to reprint it in it’s entirety because it is such a great CD. All I can say is go out and get this CD right now. I really did not know how much I needed this in my life until I heard it. It reminds me of Femmes and Milkmen at times, maybe some Butthole Surfers too, but with Chrissy Hynde singing. Except Chrissy just did some whippets. Or inhaled helium. Lead singer Msesippi McQuown (editors note, that is proper spelling)dons a paper bag on her head on the cover as do many of her adoring fans at the live performances. We have a drummer who plays a suitcase, a Tiedye Cowboy who plays banjo, and a Momma who plays the Rainstick. “Let Me Be” is a great cut. “Woah To The Man” is another solid jam, as she says this town ain’t big enough for two of us, with some gravelly vocals and I swear I hear a kazoo. There is a lot going on in this CD and it comes together perfectly. “Don’t You Call Me Baby” is Msesippi’s take on a romantic slow jam, banjo style, and you can feel her emotions transcending the song and reaching deep into your soul. “Cheesus Crust” is another knee-slapper that gives me visions of Gibby and some pizza toppings and then here comes the kazoo again. I love every second of this release, as it showcases a great group of musicians that complement each other like a well-oiled piece of machinery. I really don’t know how I lived my life up to this point without this golden nugget of goodness. “Thunder” is another great jam with great harmony and guitar with a nice snare drum beat (or is that a suitcase?). If you buy any CD this year, this should be it.

The Duke Robillard Band Ear Worms

Judi Smyth of True North Records dropped the new Duke on me and this baby does not disappoint. Michael John “Duke” Robillard needs no introduction in Blues circles as his reputation precedes him world-wide. He founded the band Roomful of Blues and was a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Duke also won the prestigious “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year” in 2016. Robillard plays rock, blues, jazz and swing guitar and tears it up. Not that he needs any help, but he is accompanied on this new CD by some great musicians including Chris Cote, Sunny Crownover, Mark Cutler, Julie Grant, Dave Howard, and Klem Klimek as well as his own band. This release features a wide variety of styles and sounds, as The Duke recreates many classics that I am sure you are familiar with. Duke states that the inspiration for this CD was the “late ‘50s/early‘60s, when AM radio was still the way you heard music on the airwaves”. Memorable tracks include Soldier of Love (Cason/Moon), Lonesome Hobo (Dylan), You Belong to Me (Price/ Stewart/King), Yes We Can (Toussaint), Yellow Moon (Neville), and the Link Ray classic Rawhide sure to make ole Kelly Miltier put down his PBR and start dancing! Run out and get Ear Worms before the fish start biting. You won’t be sorry! Available May 17,

Manx & Marriner Mainline Hell Bound For Heaven

Another great release from Stony Plain recording artists Harry Manx and Steve Marriner (with Harry’s pal Bina), Hell Bound For Heaven is some good ole Hard Drivin’ Blues with great guitar and gravely vocals, just the way you like. Add in that nice harp, or what my Momma used to call the Mouth Organ, and you got a sound that’s throwin’ down! Manx and Marriner wrote most of the songs on this CD and these guys really have a good thing going. Starting off with “Nothing”, the opening track on this CD is anything but, as it is right out of the Blues Textbook. Manx has a very original approach to the guitar described as “Mysticssippi” as he blends his training in Hindustani and Traditional Indian Folk guitar with good old-fashioned Blues. Marriner on the other hand, is skilled in vocals, harp, guitar, piano, Hammond organ, upright bass and electric bass. You may have heard of his band MonkeyJunk in the past. You’ve heard me say this before but