Nine Tracks with a running time of 41:29
We all do it – get a new CD, listen to it once and then kind of forget about it. Maybe we didn’t listen intently enough to thoroughly absorb the content or it wasn’t the right time or mood to digest the recording. Such is the case with Jason Vivone and The Billy Bats second CD release Eddie Ate Dynamite. If you are not in the mood for some music that sounds heavily retro with some cerebral lyrics wait until you are before you play this disc.
From the first track “Cut Those Apron Strings”, a rollicking duet with Vivone and Paula Crawford to the final cut “I Can Never Say Goodbye”, a piano torch song, the listener gets the feeling that this music is from a bygone era.
The second track , “Placebo”, starts out merrily mellow before Vivone kicks it with some tasteful slide and a voice that is reminiscent of CoCo Montoya. Title track three “Eddie Ate Dynamite” is a comedic adventure into a somewhat skewed family reunion – “Eddie ate dynamite then he asked me for a light”. Quite a mental image there.
Track six, “The Blues and The Greys” is another story disguised as a song where Blues fans from outer space come to earth and instead of demanding to see our leader they want to hear the best Blues we have to offer. “Where Did The Day Go” (track 8) is an easy going twelve bar number that is instrumental except for the title’s words sprinkled throughout the tune. This song also showcases some tasteful guitar licks while highlighting some bass and drum grooves.
Its unfortunate that the lyrics and musical credits aren’t included with the CD as they are an intricate piece to this recording. While the vocals are clear and understandable it would be nice to follow the songs with the correct words. One can assume that all the tunes are original but we still don’t know who wrote them and you have to go to the band’s web site to find out who plays what instrument. As mentioned earlier this recording make take the listener several sittings to “get it”. This CD is for a certain mood or time and seasoned listeners will know when that is.
Hailing from Kansas City, MO Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats are Jason Vivone, (lead guitar and vocals) Paula Crawford, (guitar and vocals) Joanna Berkebile, (vocals) Ben Hoppes, (electric banjo and vocals) Matt Bustamante, (drums and vocals) Jeremy Clark, (bass guitar) and special guests from The Grand Marquis – Bryan Redmond (sax) Chad Boydston (trumpet). Also listed on the CD’s sketchy notes is Rick Maclvor but we have no idea as to his input on this recording, however he is listed as a keyboard player on the band’s FB page.
If you would like to catch this band’s live show you will have to be in the Kansas City, MO area, as it looks like they don’t venture too far away from their home base.