Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs' recent release, Black River Falls, is stirring up good reviews all over the nation.
It only takes a few words, a couple of yodels and an occasional shout to take any listener into a time-warping tunnel while listening to a 70-year-old man with a mustache belt out his sorrows.
This Boston-based band has a special sound: a melting pot of musical influences and curious instruments, from old-time medicine show music to gypsy jazz to southern gospel.
They are armed with traditional instruments that include clarinet, musette, flugal horn, banjino, dobro and qarqaba.
With tracks like "50% Murder," "Blood O' Lambs," and "Carnival of Pills," the sound is in one word: macabre.
These songs wouldn't make it to Billboard, but are suitable for a Hollywood Western. Fans are left with a whiskey-filled gut without ever taking a sip.
"The outrageously named Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs look and sound as if they've just stepped out of an Edward Gorey drawing, complete with vaudeville street-corner instrumentation and waxed moustaches just itching to be twirled maniacally. Their swirling carnival sound and medicine-show vocals are one part Squirrel Nut Zippers, one part Tom Waits, and a... More hint of Sixteen Horsepower, with just a pinch of absinthe haze. Their 2001 release, Black River Falls, clunks and churns along with hints of klezmer and old-timey music peeking through the keyholes, recounting tales of preacher's daughters and tragic fishermen. While the band evokes an accurate period sound with some interesting quirks, the Reverend's theatrics tend to overshadow some fine songwriting at times, although that may be the whole point."
01. Midnight Cabaret
02. No Road Out Of Houston
03. 50% Murder
04. Blood O' Lambs
05. Penitentiary Highball
06. Seven Little Girls
07. 3 Ton Chain
08. Carnival Of Pills
09. Paddywagon Turban
10. One More Smoke
11. Black River Falls
Adam Glasseye (lead vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, organ, chimes),
Tim Maher (drums, vocals),
Piet Masone (organ, guitar, vocals),
Jon Wobesky (coronet, trumpet),
Kevin Corzett (alto & baritone saxophone, clarinet, vocals),
Wendy Emerson (vibraphones, piano, chimes, vocals),
Dennis Maher (bass fiddle, vocals)