Self-Produced/Red Rudy Too Tunes
CD: 12 Songs; 37:28 Minutes
Styles: Jump/Swing Blues, Jazz-Influenced Blues
In the middle-to-late-‘90s, there was a revival of the big-band swing sound in popular music. Songs such as “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and “Jump, Jive and Wail” by the Brian Setzer Orchestra were gigantic successes. There’s a related subgenre known as “jump” or “swing” blues, which mixes high-tempo beats with traditional blues rhythms and melodies. Some may say this isn’t blues in the pure sense, but more related to jazz. Whatever the case, the Nashville, TN band, Eight O’Five Jive, plays it with panache in their debut album Too Many Men. Some blues is slow and relaxing, but theirs is better spelled D-A-N-C-E. Their twelve songs, ten covers and two originals, will propel audiences out of their seats and onto their feet.
In the CD liner notes, broadcaster Pete Wilson of the Nashville Jumps radio show comments: “‘Don’t let that music die,’ sang the Big Three Trio, and it never did. Never will. It’s immune to time. And that brings us to Eight O’Five Jive.” Performing alongside lead female vocalist Lee Shropshire are Patrick Mosser on saxophone, Duane Spencer on cocktail drums, guitarist Andy Scheinman, and bassist Bill Bois. All of these four gentlemen support Lee on background vocals. Even though Too Many Men over-relies on covers, most blues fans won’t know this right away unless they peruse the CD case. At times Shropshire talk-sings on the long notes, but this flaw is minor compared to the bouncy nature of their tunes. The three below will get crowds cavorting:
Track 01: “I’ve Got a Feelin’” – A fantastic cover of a Sid Wyche hit encapsulates one of the most popular blues themes: “I’ve got a feeling someone is trying to steal my man. Strange things are happening, things that I just can’t understand.” Duane Spencer’s peppy drum intro and Patrick Mosser’s blazing sax solo are the highlights of this opening number.
Track 07: “Feed Them Monkeys” – Legal or otherwise, we all have our addictions. Original composer S. Monick knows this too well, as does the band. “One smokes cigarettes; the other smokes crack. They drink too much beer; they drink too much wine, but they’re hanging around having a good time.” Sing along with the earworm refrain, and keep an ear out for the monkey of our social-media age.
Track 10: “Young Enough to Be My Son” – There is a downside to chasing so-called “cougars”, as this hilarious original ditty by Shropshire shows. “What you want with this old pickled beet?” she asks of her youthful paramour. The pace of this song is like a train barreling down the tracks, frenetic and unstoppable. Andy Scheinman’s guitar fretwork burns with hot sauce.
According to their website, Eight O’Five Jive won an award for Best Live Blues Performers at the 2014 Nashville Independent Music Awards (NIMA). They may have Too Many Men, but they’ll never have too many fans!