Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Album Review - Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns Lucky Devil

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information after if needed but I will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:
Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns
Lucky Devil
**** out of *****

Lucky Devil contains the neatest of all tricks when it comes to music; it is impossible to tell just when in time it was recorded.  You could probably pin it to the 20th century but after that it gets tough…1920’s?  It does have the earliest of Blues and Jazz influences but maybe the 40’s or 50’s…nah, not enough be-bop.  To find out it was recorded by a current group of young musicians is a revelation, not only in its production values but also Lucky Devil’s crisp and snappy “old-timey” tracks.  

The group has such a devotion to this classic period in American music that it shines refreshing in a technological filled synth era.  Turning to the classics the group covers everyone from Duke Ellington to Bessie Smith while dropping in a few originals that sound like kindred spirits of the older tracks.  One of those originals, “Slowburn” brings a Spanish sizzle and sexiness when it rolls out.  Meschiya Lake is the headliner and immediate draw with her smoky vocals that can get raspy before soaring in the next measure to mingle with the stars as it does on “Do For Myself”.

Lake has a flare in her performance that transports the listener; in her rendition of "I'm Alone Because I Love You" her warbling intro vocals sound as if they are being filtered through a huge radio as the family gathers around to listen after supper.  The title track "Lucky Devil" is a torch song that has bruised love seeping out of the speakers as Lake croons her pains and desires away; a immediate show stopper.   

The backing Little Big Horns support and solo wonderfully like on the upbeat closer of “Joesph! Joesph!” and the perfectly lazy cover of Jelly Roll Morton's "Sweet Substitue" which does just to their famous fellow New Orleanian.  The brass and cymbal rides call out while tuba bubbles and guitar/banjo strums drive tunes along.  One of the best compliments I can think of for this album and group as a whole is that Lucky Devil and Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns are authentic.  Enjoy the time-warp.

Meschiya and The Lil Big Horns have doubting it and any jazz fan should check this group out.  Sure they are from the early period and there are no virtuoso displays of free form solos I gravitate towards but Lucky Devil harkens back to a gloriously sounding time...and the band adds to that glorious sound.

Meschiya is the obvious standout and hopefully she will continue to grow as an artist and performer.  She sings in a variety of outfits, from (my favorite) the Rough Seven to duo's with piano player Tom McDermott:

but The Little Big Horns is the group she butter's her biscuits with.  Give the album a whirl and check them out when they come to I am tonight at The Radegast Hall & Biergarten  Come on out and get down if you are around...hopefully pics and video of the show will get up soon, but for now peep some of their older vid's and enjoy:

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