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Up a Lazy River


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Leon Redbone (vocals, guitar, banjo); Brian Nalepka (vocals, bass); Frank Vignola (guitar); Cyndi Cashdollar (dobro); Kichiro Iwaki, Stan Kurtis (violin); Alfredo Pedernera (bandoneon); Ken Peplowski (clarinet, saxophone); Bobby Gordon (clarinet); Bobby Gordon (saxophone); Scott Black (cornet); Terry Waldo, Dr. John (piano); Vince Giordano (banjo, bass saxophone, tuba, piano, bass, drums); Arnold Kinsella Jr. (drums, percussion); Giampaolo Biagi (drums); The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Tripp Hanson, Hal Shane (background vocals).
  • Personnel: Leon Redbone (vocals, guitar, banjo); Brian Nalepka (vocals, bass instrument); Frank Vignola (guitar); Cindy Cashdollar (dobro); Vince Giordano (banjo, bass saxophone, tuba, piano, bass instrument, drums); Stan Kurtis, Kichiro Iwaki (violin); Alfredo Pedernera (bandoneon); Ken Peplowski, Bobby Gordon (clarinet, saxophone); Scott Black (cornet); Dr. John, Terry Waldo (piano); Arnold Kinsella, Jr. (drums, percussion); Giampaolo Biagi (drums); Hal Shane, Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Tripp Hanson (background vocals).
  • Idiosyncratic singer/songwriter Leon Redbone spent the 1990s building upon his sizable cult following with more uncanny arrangements of vintage pop and jazz tunes, while simultaneously unveiling a few of his own compositions. Sporting an unmistakable and remarkably limber baritone, Redbone continues his fusion of Americana with some distinct and flavorful overtones that would not sound out of place in the Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli-led Quintet of the Hot Club of France. This is evident right out of the box on Redbone's "Play Gypsy Play," as guitarist Frank Vignola and violinist Stan Kurtis provide a hearty Hot Club vibe. An almost palpable sense of mystery shrouds the somnolent "At the Chocolate Bon Bon Ball," incorporating Alfredo Pedernera on the Argentinean bandonen -- a native instrument with a tonality close to that of its' European descendant, the concertina. Pedernera weaves hypnotically beneath the march-like cadence, unifying the otherwise disparate sonic elements. The easygoing languid cover of Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazy River" can easily be considered a seminal entry in Redbone's repertoire, with just enough energy to gently move the song along. Special guest Dr. John tickles the ivories further accenting the sumptuous melody. "When Dixie Stars Are Playing Peek-a-Boo" is an obscure side dating to the early 20th century. Asleep at the Wheel's Cindy Cashdollar picks a down-home dobro, modernizing the rural blues amalgam and definitely hearkening to the original. Similarly, Redbone's interpretation of "Mr. Jelly Roll Baker" has one foot in the past while leaping toward a rollicking renewal of the Beale Street blues from whence the selection was derived. Again, Cashdollar is heard here, twanging beneath a full-bodied lead vocal and some buoyant sax interjections from multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano, who also plays piano, drums and bass on the track. His sax spills over on to the humor-laden take-off/put-on rendering of Papa Charlie Jackson's bawdy blues "Gotta Shake That Thing." Other standouts on Up a Lazy River (1992) include the Redbone co-penned "That Old Familiar Blues" and "Bittersweet Waltz" -- both boasting additional contributions from Dr. John -- although the latter shouldn't be mistaken for the Nol Coward song of the same name. ~ Lindsay Planer
Professional Reviews
Q (4/92, p.80) - 3 Stars - Good - "..could almost be a Redbone manifesto.."

Q (4/92, p.80) - 3 Stars - Good - "..could almost be a Redbone manifesto.."
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