Friday, January 12, 2018

R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders - Singing in the Bathtub

Crumb's Serenaders perform acoustic, old-timey ragtime/jazz/vaudeville numbers from the early 20th Century (along with occasional originals), with emphasis on banjo, mandolin, and guitar, with additional assistance at times from musical saw, accordion, harmonica, horns and strings. These are fun, upbeat, often silly tunes (like the title cut), with nice instrumental work ("Chile Blues") and some showbiz/circus overtures ("Dream of Heaven"). They bemoan their lack of popularity due to being out of step with modern times in "Suits Crybaby Blues", then throw in a bit of zydeco on the accordion/fiddle original tune "Shopping Mall", some nice steel guitar and group singing on "Hula Girl", "La Gima Polka" shows off some fancy banjo-polka-pickin' and they part ways with the farewell song "Hano Hano Hawaii".

Of course, there's plenty more here and all swingin' fun, in their old-timey kinda way.