Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

DUKE ROBILLARD & SUNNY CROWNOVER

TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE

2010-02-02

The ever prolific Duke Robillard follows up last year’s successful pairing with vocalist Sunny Crownover, Sunny & Her Joy Boys, by pairing with her again for this tribute to Les Paul. Modeled loosely after Paul’s recordings with Mary Ford, Robillard provides a jazzy, backdrop to Crownover’s silky rich vocals. Those with a taste for exotic Tiki Lounge music should head straight to the rumba/swing of "Tico Tico", the mysterious sounding "Occidental Woman" first performed by none other than Mae West, the flamenco fueled "Besame Mucho", the strutting "Kiss of Fire" and the percussive "Sway" which get both a straight reading and an edgier re-mix. "Put the Blame on Mame (parts 1 and 2)" puts you firmly into the Rita Hayworth/Glenn Ford film noir classic “Gilda” from which it came while "Smoke Rings" is an unhurried, sexy come on. Robillard and Crownover make the oft covered Willie Nelson classic "Crazy" seem positively fresh with jazzy guitar riffs and vocals that drip emotion. As good as that track is, the duo’s take on the bluesy "I’m Still in Love With You" is so perfectly realized that the song should move from the obscure to the oft covered. While most of the material moves along at an unhurried pace, "Bye Bye Blues" swings pretty hard and "Goody Goody" hits a higher gear as Crownover plots her revenge against an errant lover. Classy from beginning to end this disc evokes thoughts of low lights, hard drinks and close dancing. Based on the strength of this release, we should be hearing plenty from this duo in the future. Smitty

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