The Reynolds Brothers


A Rhythm Rascal Cocktail [2009]
Zasu Records No. 7
Futuristic Jungleism - I Would Do Anything For You - Love Is Just Around The Corner - All God's Children Got Rhythm - Blue Drag - Was That The Human Thing To Do - Pepper Steak - I Cover The Waterfront - There's Going To Be The Devil To Pay - Blue Room - Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams - Nagasaki - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter - Swing That Music - Doctor Heckle and Mister Jibe - The Scat Song - Hummin' To Myself - Happy Feet - Truckin' - Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia - Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Some Of These Days

The Reynolds Brothers carry on the torch of the great washboard bands of the late 20's / early 30's. Their latest album is nothing less than excellent. Unlike the previous ones that feature up to 8 musicians, the line-up on this one is reduced to the essential. Ralf Reynolds hits the washboard and sings occasionaly while his brother John plays national guitar (think Eddie Lang meets Casey Bill Weldon) and sings lead on most of the songs (and he whistles too), Third member is the multi-talented Katie Cavera on string bass. With Ralf she's the backbone of the band. She swings like no other and also slaps that doghouse bass for a fuller sound. Last but not least, Mark Caparone rounds up the quartet on cornet His style evokes both Armstong and Henry "red" Allen.
Though I enjoyed each of their previous release, I must admit that I enjoy this configuration best. The band is tighter, hotter and leaves more space for John's amazing guitar skills.
Together, they breath a new life into a set of classics (some they even recorded on previous albums) and manage to make you forget you've heard them a hundred of times. But their main success is to communicate through a little piece of plastic (or whatever it is) their "joie de vivre". Well done boys (and girl)!

Available at CDBaby.

Fred "Virgil" Turgis proud owner of a Zazu cap