More good time music. Though often dismissed as a novelty act, this album is actually very musical. And it’s one hell of a good time. From the first notes of Alabama Jubilee, you’ll be hard pressed to stay sitting down. This music will get you moving. Whether resurrecting forgotten old cheeseball tunes or performing first rate originals, the Cheap Suits perform with half-sincerity, half-hipster-style, and 100% energy. Though the singing is marginal, the slide-guitar playing is excellent, and the musical saw solos are phenomenal. And really, songs like “Fine Artiste Blues” deserve to go down in history, with lyrics like:
When I quit my job, I spent three months in bed,
Thought I’d take up fine art painting instead
Got myself a canvas and a bottle of paint
Five minutes’ work is going to make me a saint.
Baby I’m a fine artiste
And maybe I deserve to be kissed.
…I do believe I’m a genius!
…you’ve really got to agree.
The album includes the Hula Medley, a fine bit of Hawaiian music, sandwiched in between a viper’s haze of dixieland oriental musettes and tongue-in-cheek sentimentality. There is also an outstanding version of Mysterious Mose, perhaps the best I’ve heard. So what if this band is a novelty. It takes the notion of novelty to new heights and produces a gem of fancy-free fun. Reccomended if you like Jim Kweskin, or jug band music in general.
R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders – Chasin’ Rainbows
Year: 1993 (originally issued as Cheap Suit Serenaders #2 in 1976)
full of pep. watch your step.
mp3 >192 kpbs vbr | w/ cover | 55mb
and see A Cheap Suit Serenaders Site, with more information and links to all of the various members’ sites and current projects.