If your mind was caught up and mesmerized by the dancing pink elephants
from Disney's Fantasia and the music that accompanied that
mesmer, or your heart has a tendency towards the vaudevillian aspects
of early American folk music, then have I got an album for you. Luke
Winslow-King is an obviously talented lad who lends his hand to
churning out tunes with a seemingly colorful history behind them.
On his latest record Old/New Baby Winslow-King shows off his
vocal abilities to great effect, all the while buoying the melodies
with brilliant and classic instrumentation. The album starts off with
a jazzy, hungover ditty called "As April Is To May" that
recalls the great history of animated drunkenness. The song has a
swing and mood that is very dark, yet lithesome and filled with syncopated
bomp. Then Winslow-King sidesteps into more comfortable ground, picking
up his dobro and invoking the spirit of American folk at its finest.
"Shoeshine" has the kind of drooping rhythm and slippery
guitar that makes players like Bill Morrisey so fantastic,
and the song has horns that carry countermelodies through the background,
imbuing the track with a surreal beauty. "Never Tired" is
classic folk-hop, filled with snappy snare hits and great slide guitar
work, as well as sing-songy lyrics that are almost silly in their
earnestness. Winslow-King somehow takes the spirit of New Orleans
and fuses it into his songs, imparting a ragtime breakdown into "Below"
before dropping back to the matter-of-factness of "I'll See You
When I Look At You", a song that is simple in its musical approach
but contains an immense amount of folky beauty. Winslow-King's blending
of slide guitar, horns, ukulele, and doghouse bass is instantly likeable
and mostly traditional in its approach, fusing classic musical elements
with a vigor that belies his Northern origins. Don't believe me? Take
a listen to the cool jazz of "Birthday Stomp" or the gritty,
delta-infused blues of "Bird Dog Blues" to form your own
opinion of what this Michigan-born lad has in his musical blood.
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!