L Wood Joy – Gumbo | Album Review

lwoodjoycdL Wood Joy –¬†Gumbo


self release

songs-11 time-44:11

Who would think that the influence of New Orleans’ life style and music would reach its’ arms to Denmark and New Orleans aficionados L Wood Joy, a piano, drums and bass trio that get occasional assistance from a horn section, backup vocals and organ. There isn’t a guitar any where in sight. Piano and horns take the along side the vocals. Lasse Skov handles the vocal and piano chores. Jakob Riis on bass and Morton Lyngsae on drums comprise the very able rhythm section. The New Orleans sound visits the songs at times and many New Orleans references pop up. On the whole the songs veer more to a slick pop music sound, often times bringing to mind for me George Michaels and WHAM!.

Things jump right off with the New Orleans-centric “Lost In New Orleans”, a snappy little ditty that uses almost every New Orleans reference and word you can possibly think of. It comes off sounding like an advert for The Big Easy…But a very good one at that. The song finds Lasse Skov in good voice with a tad of an accent along with his top notch piano playing. They definitely “Finally Got The Beat” as this tune is empowered by catchy piano and bass.

The horn and piano driven “Dance All Night” sounds like it came out of a 40’s production number. It’s basically pop fluff. They attain a close approximation of the New Orleans sound, replete with second line drumming leading a jumpy beat. The basic premise of the song is that the hubby does the household chores in exchange for sex. What appears to be one of their biggest influences rears its’ ugly head in Move To Stay Alive”…George Michaels and WHAM!…No, really! It’s repetitious pop candy taken to the nth degree. You can’t make this stuff up.

The band’s slow and bluesy side pops up on Baby I’m Your Man”, featuring lovely piano and organ. A nice late night bluesy ballad. Some really nifty and rhythmic piano brings back the New Orleans groove on a tune about jamming with long gone New Orleans musicians “In My Dreams”. Rest assured it’s jam packed with New Orleans references. It includes a New Orleans funk horn section and a nice trumpet solo. The George Michaels vibe comes out again.

Jerry Lee Lewis style piano and a WHAM! overdose causes “House Of Blue Lights” to push the hokey meter into the red zone. Tuts Washington style piano playing is showcased in the smaltzy “Friday Night, a tune that features a nice big band horn sound. The ghost of Tuts Washington once again tickles the ivories on “I Could Be Your Man”. Lasse never captures Professor Longhair’s piano style anywhere on this record.

You can’t fault these Danes for trying to emulate the iconic New Orleans sound. They hit the mark a few times, but often they come off a bit too slick and over produced. They get a blatant pop sound too often for my taste, but there are many musical elements to recommend the band such as tasty piano and a tight horn section. A rougher edge and tougher and more creative lyrics would benefit the band. There are things to like here and they are a band to watch.

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