Chuck E. Weiss only comes out of hibernation long enough
to release one album per decade. So presto, 23rd & Stout
marks his first of the new millennium! His voice makes him
come off like an underground Tom Waits - which is to say
way underground because Waits isn't exactly a household name.
Weiss has two basic vocal styles: One is a low, gruff growl, which
he applies to "Novade Nada" while the other is a high,
girly tone emitted during "Sho Is Cold (A Tribute to Sterling
Holloway)" and "Room with a View". There's a whole
lot of swampy sax work utilized throughout, bringing to mind the
late great Morphine. "Half Off at the Rebop Shop"
includes trombone and Weiss even whistles during "Another
Drunken Sailor Song (The Lil' Ligeemo Song)". Jazz and blues
are the main stylistic templates for Weiss' songs though "Piccolo
Pete" rumbles to a country-ish guitar strum while "Goodbye,
So Long" is upbeat and soulful. Like Waits, Weiss' subject
matter leans toward tales of low life city dwellers. While Waits
has gone on to incorporate Captain Beefheart-ian disjointed
rock into his repertoire, Weiss is still a fun throwback to the
piano barflies of yesteryear.
1. Prince Minksy's Lament
2. Sho Is Cold (A Tribue To Sterling Hollaway)
3. Novade Nada
4. Half Off At The Rebop Shop
5. Another Drunken Sailor Song (The Lil' Ligeemo Song)
6. Room With A View
7. Fake Dance (Slim Harpo Tribute)
8. Primrose Lane
9. 23rd And Stout (An Incident With Marshall Bell)
10. Man Tan
11. The Phone Conversation
12. Piccolo Pete
13. Goodbye, So Long
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