Traditional Jazz, Blues
Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Squirrel Nut Zippers
Wait, what year is it? Is it the early 1900’s? Throw this album on and you’ll be instantly transported back to that early New Orleans jazz, blues and ragtime era. That’s the feeling you’ll get when you listen to Pyramid Street by Tuba Skinny. Their fifth album is as real as it gets if you’re looking for something new in this classic genre. They are a seven-piece band that uses a plethora of instruments to provide this authentic sound: Erika Lewis (Vocals / Bass Drum), Todd Burdick (Tuba), Westen Borghesi (Tenor Banjo), Jon Doyle (Clarinet), Barnabus Jones (Trombone), Shaye Cohn (Cornet / Fiddle) and Robin Rapuzzi (Washboard). So, as you can see they have all the ingredients here to pull this off.
The opening track "Big Chief Battle Axe" kicks things off in good old-time jazz flair. This instrumental has all the elements to get you in this jazzy mind-set. The vocals of Erika Lewis in track two, "Lonesome Drag" are perfectly matched for this song and the album. She exudes this classic, authentic and vibrant sound that harkens back to this early jazz era. The album also has a softer, bluesy side with songs like "Freight Train Blues," "I Got The Cryin' Blues," "Hesitation Blues," "Blood Thirsty Blues" and "Slow Driven Moan". These tracks are charming and give off that late-night smoky bar feeling. "Mean Blue Spirits," one of the softer songs is a standout track; her vocals just take control as they are strong and sultry.
With lively tracks such as "Pyramid Strut," "Gimmie Some" and "Deep Henderson," they will add some pick-up to your day and put you in a good-spirited mood. You may just get the urge to head out and hit some Jazz festivals. "Sweet Lovin' Old Soul" has all the elements for another standout track. It is an easy song to gravitate towards. Between the vocals, lyrics and catchy bluesy rhythm, it will draw you in and being followed up by "Alligator Crawl," they make for great back-to-back songs.
Tuba Skinny are a breath of fresh air in today’s music as they bring this classic, old-time jazz music back to life. We recommend taking a look into their previous albums as well, just in case you can’t get your fill. - 8/21/2014
Standout Tracks: Deep Henderson, Sweet Lovin' Old Soul, Mean Blue Spirits