Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Review: The Little Willies

(Milking Bull Records, March 2006)

Lee Alexander, Richard Julian, Jim Campilongo form the guitar backbone of The Little Willies (on Milking Bull Records) with Norah Jones on piano and Dan Rieser on drums. This kitchen-table gathering of musicians having a good time together puts out a mix of country standard covers and some original work, capturing the simplicity and down-to-earth humanness of grassroot America. Among the covers, Roly Poly, (supersize anthem, delight of the corn lobby), Best of All Possible Worlds, and Streets of Baltimore stand out. Of the originals, Lou Reed, a song about the VU rocker’s rumored fondness for cow-tipping, a juvenile practice of pushing sleeping standing cows over, is notable for its chatty balladic style, while Roll On and Easy as the Rain are masterly. My favorite on this album (after Roly Poly) is the heartbreak song It’s Not You It’s Me, a slow jiving showcase of vocals and piano work.
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