Monday, November 28, 2011

"Crime-A-Billy Christmas" - The Strange Tones (Meteor Sonic Records)

By Eric Steiner
This year’s Washington Blues Society party at the Red Hook Brewery on December 11th features our 2012 International Blues Challenge competitors The WIRED! Band and the  Norris and Nicely duo.  The Strange Tones round out the bill with Eric Law’s Dirty Rice Band.   

The StrangeTones have consistently won coveted Muddy awards at the Cascade Blues Association in the Best Contemporary Blues, Best Video, Best Electric Guitar, and Recording of the Year categories since 2005.  They were inducted into to the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame in 2007, and their latest CD is ablues Christmas CD.  The instrumentals of “Little Drummer Boy” “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “We Three Kings” update these age-old holiday classics with an edgy, Strange Tones feel, and “Crime-A-BillyChristmas” is fun as Suburban Slim channels Elvis expertly. 

The CD features 14 tracks, most are rockabilly (sorry, “Crime-A-Billy”) infused.  “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” would be at home on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, and there’s a fun audio postcard from the band. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, turn up “Auld Lang Syne” toasting in 2012. Guitar Julie’s vocals and guitar spice up this CD as does Suburban Slim’s guitar playing.  The rhythm section of Andy Strange on bass and Andy Gauthier on drums propel the tunes along, and I found myself thinking back to Henry Mancini’s classic “Peter Gunn Theme” when the guitarists took center stage. It’s part of the “Crime-A-Billy” approach and a lot of fun. The CD packaging offers a bar code that opens Crime-A-Billy Christmas Land with a mystery holiday gift. The pictures of the band and their Volcano Vixens as children are a hoot, and the CD shows the band enjoying holiday grog.

Give a listen to tracks on the CD by CLICKING HERE

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