Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Boxcar Boys -- Don't Be Blue

This review is from the December 12, 2011 issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.

The Boxcar Boys
Don’t Be Blue
The Boxcar Boys

The five musicians of the Boxcar Boys – one of whom is a woman – look like a klezmer band dressed in Depression-era clothing on the cover of their debut CD, Don’t Be Blue.

Their instrumentation of clarinet (John David Williams), trombone (Karl Silveira), sousaphone (Rob Teehan), violin (Laura C. Bates) accordion (Ronen Segall) is probably more klezmerish than any other style of music being played these days. And, they do sound very much like a klezmer band  on original numbers like “The Handcuff King” and “Waltz for Rotman,” both composed by Bates, or “Mugg’s Island” and “Jägerbomb Blues” by Williams.

But, this Toronto-based combo also draws on traditional jazz, folk, ragtime, and even country music. Two of the best tracks are an unusual and very haunting treatment of the country classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, and a happy-sounding version of the 1920s jazz tune, “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll.”

Great stuff!

--Mike Regenstreif

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