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LAZYBIRDS —BROKEN WING (Self-released)

http://www.lazybirds.net/

The Lazybirds have now been going for 15 years and hail from North Carolina, a State that has a long tradition of string band music and who can count on The Old Crow Medicine Show as fans among a host more bands and like-minded musicians. 

In combining mountain folk country, blues, jazz and ragtime the band of Andy Christopher to whom the album is dedicated after he suffered a heart attack that left him in wheelchair plus James T. Browne, Jay Brown, Mitchell Johnson and Alfred Michels they deliver a sparkling mixture of country blues, jazz, ragtime, folk and bluegrass.  

 

In seamless fashion the boys pluck out of the sky a collection of traditional songs to go with sterling covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’, Sly Stone’s ‘Life’ (the least impressive of them all) and The Slickers’ ‘Johnny Too Bad’. What an innovative job they do on the song —as kazoo, harmonica etc are superbly utilised. Brown, who performs lead on the Dylan evergreen also donates his own song, the title-cut ‘Broken Wing’ as the band’s one and only original song. An intelligent affair it goes a long way to help underline the band’s all round dexterity as guitar, harmonica, bass fiddle, tenor guitar, drums and fine vocal harmonies. The song speak of how things don’t feel right with Andy no longer playing with them on stage, as it likens him to a bird with a broken wing. Of how there’s a hole where his banjo should be.

 

Just how great an influence he is with the band can be heard through the banjo he contributes on the record. While Michels’ fiddle coupled with the strong vocal partnership of Brown (lead) and the harmony vocals of Browne and rousing harmonica of the lead act and slap bass and guitar play the hell out of ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’. Bill Monroe would like what they have done to his song. I am sure of that. 

 

There are other songs of note, too. Blues gem ‘Good Morning Blues’ on given an inspired, hard driven acoustic treatment swings merrily again as the boys bring a feel not dissimilar to Canned Heat to the table. ‘Travelin’ Man’ with smart guitar picking and wonderful fiddle, Brown’s easy on the ear lead vocals and a good ol’ rambling feel music of the roving kind steeped in more shades than hard wood trees in autumn the unit produce an album full of welcome surprises. Upbeat funky blues tune ‘Can’t Call Her Sugar’ like with ‘Honky Tonkin’ Days’ that has Andy on both banjo and lead vocals bring the listener top class entertainment. 

Could we see them over here in the near future I ask. For more details you had best watch this space. 

 

                                                          Maurice Hope    


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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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