Thursday, April 17, 2014

Album Review: Tuba Skinny- Pyramid Strut

Tuba Skinny
Pyramid Strut
***and1/2 out of *****
Tuba Skinny like other New Orleans buskers, started as street musicians who had a common love of old-timey jazz tunes that were just wallowing in forgotten history. Having now tightened up a bit Pyramid Strut, is the bands 3rd release, a collection of those unknown jazz gems along with some more known tunes and even a few originals.   

Let's start with the originals as they are perfect fits into Pyramid Strut. The title track is structured send up with bubbling tuba backing Shaye Cohn's forceful cornet. "Lonesome Drag" motors as Erika Lewis sings about going blind with the blues, before Jon Doyle's clarinet dances around with wild abandoned.

Lewis' take on Trixie Smith's "Freight Train Blues" drips with the blues trademark pain but spins a bit of role reversal. The vocal tracks are balanced nicely by the instrumentals, an example would be the percolating run through their version of the South Street Trio's "Cold Morning Shout" before Lewis again takes the forefront on the traditional "Hesitation Blues".
The old time jazz just keeps flowing with tracks like "Gimme Some", "Sweet Lovin' Old Soul" and "Alligator Crawl". All the songs hit that mark, without varying much, but the group loves the oldies, and with their commitment you will too. 
If you dug Ms. Lake and the L.B.H from earlier this month, jump on Tuba Skinny now! Showcasing a NOLA based old-timey act that we found on bandcamp makes us smile, wish we were doing it in the Royal St. sun with a hilife in hand....

You can grab the album here, or stream it below. Support the band here, peep some video below:

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