Review: Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – Eddie Ate Dynamite

Posted on: Monday, Apr 14, 2014

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Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – Eddie Ate Dynamite

(Self -produced)

Where bands like the B52’s focused on the attractions of pulp science fiction in the 50s and 60s, Jason and his merry band of Kansas City musical explorers, who are; Jason himself on vocals and slide, Paula Crawford; guitar and vocals, Joanna Berkebile; vocals, Rick MacIvor; keyboards, Ben Hoppes; electric banjo, Jeremy Clark; bass and Matt Bustamante on drums, take us further on than the Yellow Brick Road could ever possibly have gone; for they do not seem to have any aims, targets or destinations, simply a lust for life that includes everything from Loony Tunes, Hawaiian grooves and goodtime blues through to Raymond Chandler, Orson Wells dramatics and quips and quotes from Shakespeare.

Over the nine original and mind expanding numbers we sidle up close to the twilight zone of mirth and nostalgia.

With this firmly in your mind, all is normal, so, it is perfectly reasonable that numbers like “Analog”, take the shape and form of a solemn and deathly New Orleans funeral dirge, the slow rumbling lament of days gone by when all we knew was that great music had to be not only warm and mono but, also submerged our ears in snap, crackle and pop; oh, those were the days of innocent joy. The visual joys of “Eddie Ate Dynamite” are wonderfully described as the swinging slide hovers over lively dancing drum work, while the glutton of a tuba bubs and expands and the excited girly chorus eggs Eddie on to the potentially exploding finale.

“The Lady Doth Protest Too Much”, brings together lyrical quotes from the bard himself and through Jason, the grand dramatic directions of Orson Welles, as we enter the late night murky world of Philip Marlowe, slow and darkly slinky brushwork sidles’ up to a crisply tinkling, lazy, rolling piano while damsels in distress provide the sultry girly chorus. “I Can Never Say Goodbye”, is a wonderfully woven list of goodbyes set to a lonesome and dejected piano led slow blues, while Jason mournfully and dramatically lists his farewells to all and sundry.

“Cut Those Apron Strings”, is a foot-tapping jiving shuffler on the subject of parental control; Jason and Paula Crawford bouncily argue over ripe and juicy horns that are provided by Bryan Redmond and Chad Boyston, tropical drums and slippin’ slide weave and hip swing you and the song along.

Highly Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

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