How often do you come across artists who make you smile at the outrageous whimsically ingenious sheer fun of their music?
I feel this way about Jeff Beck’s playing — and, I was this amused when Leon Redbone’s first album came out (remember? It had a “Looney Tunes” cover).
So, for me to throw a CD into the player, and immediately break out in smiles…. well, it’s pretty cool to be able to turn you on to something this entertaining.
The CD? Dig It by the Artifacts.
The group is a trio — and they’re Petaluma based – comprised of Stephen Tamborski on guitar, Karen Tamborski on percussion, and Dorian Bartley on acoustic bass. — They all sing — and in fact there is a real weave of instruments, voices, and mixes that make each of the 12 tunes on the CD unique.
First – regarding a few of the tunes – Swing Brother Swing – Don’t go away Mad, California del Norte, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Momma He Treats Your Daughter Mean – great tunes, really – classics, but each with a wicked twist – and some totally hot slide guitar, along with comp guitar parts that make the tunes swing like crazy. These tunes jump!
And I love harmony singing – these guys blend beautifully — each sings lead on different tunes, and each has a distinctive and recognizable “voice.”
The clincher for a live performance group is “can you record their magic?”
In this case, the Artifacts have an undeniable chemistry – Stephen is such a fine player, with parts that contribute a feeling of spontaneous combustion and unstudied easy flow — everyone contributes to the musicality of the sound, of course, but as a fellow guitar player, I love Stephen’s playing.
My suggestion for both buying the CD and for checking out the band’s elusive performance schedule is to go to their web site: area707.com
Now – lets remember that I have a 99.9% record for only turning you on to the coolist artists, music, and venues – so given my track record, buy the CD and put it on at your next party!