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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yellow Dog Records artists: The Claudettes - Infernal Piano Plot...HATCHED! - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the new Claudettes release (October 1, 2013), Infernal Piano Plot... HATCHED! and it's a non stop piano riot. Opening with Stumblin' Home Satisfied is a cool piano boogie track featuring Johnny Iguana on piano and Michael Caskey on drums. This is pure blues and one for traditional style piano blues lovers. Big Sucker Punch gets a bit more jump in the step when Caskey kicks the pace up a few notches. With Hound Dog Taylor intensity the two men create a rockin frenzy. On Hammer and Tickle a dash of Latin rhythm dictates a more jazz approach and the title aptly describes Iguana's playing style where he hammers out the beat and then tickles the notes. Tide Pool has the roots of rock and R&B at it's core but Iguana takes a musical interlude on piano again showing a bent toward jazz. Deep Soul For High Society has a strong R&B feel a la Ray Charles. Again taking a jazz twist with expansion and experimentation Iguana circles back to R&B. New Orleans Yard Sale has a real stew of musical components which I think is what makes New Orleans music interesting. The track sound like bits and pieces of different styles of music making you think about what you're listening to. The title track, Infernal Piano Plot...Unhatched! is a fast paced almost rocker but retaining the barrelhouse feel. Serenading The Clean Up Crew is actually a cool New Orleans sounding track. It has the easy pace and punctuation of the city and nice blues changes. Tremblin' Blues is a classic blues track right out of the rag era. Caskey really adds a lot on this track giving it a march and stumble sound behind the cool attack on the piano. My favorite track on the release. Motorhome has the intensity of a punk track but done with blues and jazz construction. With a swerve in the middle the track changes directions and then comes back with a relentless piano attack. Land Of Precisely Three Dances is musically a very interesting track with a lot happening rhythmically. Iguana has a lot to say and says a lot without saying a word. Very creative. Chin-Up Tango is a cool track with...a tango beat! Otherwise it has solid blues components and could easily be a part of a Black Keys track. Another interesting slice. On the final track, Do You See It Too?, Iguana calls and responds to his own call on piano, theoretically blues like but sounding more classical in nature. This may be a little intense for some, but if you get it... you may really get it! Enjoy!

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