Anni Piper – More Guitars Than Friends | Album Review

annipipercdAnni Piper – More Guitars Than Friends

Sugar Daddy Records – 2015

10 tracks; 38 minutes 

Australian Anni Piper is now based in Florida where her latest CD was recorded.  Anni plays bass and handles lead vocals with Dave Krury on guitar and Frank Hetzler on drums.  This is mainly a trio album but the band is joined on some tracks by Mike Franklin on keyboards and on a few tracks by a horn section of Charlie de Chant on sax and Sam Zambito on trumpet.  Anni, Dave and Frank wrote most of the material and there are three interesting covers: Rosco Gordon’s “Just A Little Bit” has been done by Etta James and Magic Sam amongst many others; Anni and the band do a solid job here with some tough guitar from Dave; Memphis Slim’s “I’m Lost Without You” is a far less covered song and Anni’s version is excellent with her breathy vocals over a warm rhumba rhythm, the band swinging on the chorus; once recorded by Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women,

“Cold Pizza And Warm Beer” is great fun with Dave’s emphatic riff and amusing lyrics about having a really good time: “it’s just the morning after, I don’t remember who was there, I’ll eat a slice of cold pizza and wash it down with warm beer”. The song name checks Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight as being part of the musical background and Dave takes a great Keith Richards style solo to top off the tune.

The cover artwork shows Anni dressed in a slinky see-through dress on the front and a retro bikini on the back.  Both images should be taken tongue-in-cheek as Anni demonstrates on the originals that she has quite a sense of humour.  Opener “Wonder Woman” starts with Anni’s bass prominent in the mix and funny lyrics: “I caught you in my lariat of truth; I’m a wonder woman – I wonder what I saw in you”.  “Buckle Bunny” is also comic with Anni’s desire for a cowboy type of guy: “chaps in chaps is my number one fantasy”!  “Paper Bag” is almost the opposite with Anni clearly not impressed by a potential love rival: “When you lay with that hag, she must need a paper bag”.  Musically this is a good tune too with the horns adding drive and swing.

“Shotgun Wedding” takes us into Caribbean territory with a lilting rhythm and calypso guitar, Anni’s guy having “not had a clue” with the result of “what folks round here call a shotgun wedding”.  The band gives us a good piece of rock and roll on “Eugene” which has lots of fun rhymes in another tale of love gone wrong: “Eugene, I know just where you’ve been. When you left with my cousin she was a virgin, yes you fixed that, you needed no urgin’”.  The song also features some great Rn’R piano and guitar stylings from Mike and Dave. “Blackberry Brandy” has a country feel as Anni explains the attraction of her favourite tipple with Mike’s rolling piano a feature.

To show that not all her songs are comic the title song “More Guitars Than Friends” recounts the sadness behind the star’s façade of the good life.  The tune recalls “St James Infirmary” and works well with the horns adding some subtle accents on the chorus and plenty of guitar allusions in the lyrics (“I’m too tightly wound in my strings”; “I’m wrapped up in my strings and cables”).

This is an entertaining album with some fine comic songs, a good vocalist and solid musicianship.

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