Perhaps you’re new here, or maybe you’ve been waiting like the rest of them. Either way, it’s ready, our fourth studio release Hang It On The Wall, and as the fourth release it boasts a short but stout four-pack track listing. Some might call it an EP, an extended play, something additive to a preexisting whole. Down in Louisiana, in the land of “creole sues, patois, mardi gras, and romantic blues,” you might call it lagniappe, something extra that is given as a bonus. Don’t judge it by size, you’ll come up short. Two of the four tracks are originals from the band, the other two being passed down as NOLA standards.
Hang It On The Wall opens with a traditional creole tune Ba Moin En Ti Bo Doudou, which means, “give me a kiss, darling.” Drums break the silence, a coquettish clarinet peeks its head out from around the corner, and within a moment you’re being goosed down the street surrounded by a gang of bass, brass, and ‘Fess-like boogie. There’s no escaping, but who would try? The parade’s just stepped off and we got a few more stops. Would I Lie To You? The second track may leave you wondering. Through a series of falsehoods our hero drags himself in an effort to shield his pride from a recent hang-up. Denial is a bitch, though the tune’s harmony and satirical lyrics are undeniably echoic of Pops’ iconic crooning. The B-side kicks off with the staggering swing of Josef Myrow’s Blue Drag, a Django Reinhardt favorite. Keep an eye on the soloists. They can get disorderly, the tenor sax especially–bending notes like laws–and the pianist prefers his fists. The side rounds off with the second contribution from the band, Maybe Baby, a joint that jumps, in the words of Fats Waller. Each of the horns gets a chance to shine, and they sound about as confident as the lyrics. Keeping the faith? Maybe, just maybe…but if you ask me, it sounds like wishful thinking.
With a foot in the gutter and a fist in the gold, half the songs are new, the other half old. You can shake it, you can break it, you can hang it on the wall. It may be short but don’t call it small. This lagniappe pays dividends fourfold. Not to the mention it’s available on vinyl, for those with the time to sit and listen (and download codes for those who don’t). It goes live on June 9th, 2017 at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH where you’ll be able to hear it, buy it, and hang that lovely album artwork wherever you want. Take it down whenever you need that something extra.