The Jewel of 45th Avenue
The Rabbit Foot Stomp
Into My Minivan
Croquet Playing Girl
You Make Me Swoon
Drip Dryin' (Reprise!)
Drip Dryin' with the Two Man Gentlemen Band
Artist: The Two Man Gentlemen Band
Release date: January 14, 2009
What better prescription for trouble times than an impeccably-dress, throwback, new-vaudvillian duop whose live performances are a festival of expert musicianship, clever, off-venter original tunes, hilarious bands, rowdy audience interactions, and free kazoos for the crowd?
Hailing from New York City, The Two Man Gentlemen Band combines hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country, and tin pan alley to create a joyous two-man sound that is all their own. Performing with plectrum banjo, guitar, string bass, dueling kazoos, novelty percussion, and a cornet, The Gentlemen whip themselves into a frenzy that is unlike any acoustic duo on the road today. And they belt out original songs that manage to be at once familiar, bizarre, fun, and entirely new.
The Gentlemen maintain their brisk album-a-year pace with Drip Dryin,' their fourth and finest platter. Seasoned by many hundreds of concert engagements, the Gents expertly maintain that elegant balance between the sophisticated and the salacious, doing so with formidable instrumental skill and unmatched good cheer. This time out Andy Bean's Tin Pan Alley songwriting chops incorporate theater and 50s rock, while his banjo playing displays a jazz-man's mastery. And to no surprise, the Councilman remains a killer on the bass fiddle, driving each tune, even the lighter ones, with full force.
Their musical palate continues to expand, with mariachi trumpet, virtuoso fiddle and a full drum-kit played with sticks, thanks in part to the talents of fiddler Aaron Lewis (the Hot Seats) and drummers Brian Kantor (Higgins, Rocketship Park) and Travis Harrison (Unsacred Hearts).
While their previous albums were rich in historical references - to William Howard Taft, The Hindenburg, Prohibition and the like - their latest effort is strictly a feel-good party record. When life gets you wet and doesn't hand you a towel, The Gentlemen say "Drip Dry your troubles away." They've even invented a dance, The Drip Dry, which they teach to the audience at shows, to accompany the record's title track.
On the rest of the album, The Two Man Gentlemen Band continues their habit of writing songs that are "so off the beaten path as to be virtually cliche-free" (Bluegrass Journal). There is a New Orleans-style stomp about the joys of rabbit meat, an ode to a croquet-playing girl, a rowdy shout-along celebrating gourmet beer, a tribute to The Gentlemen's intrepid minivan, a few sincerely tender ballads, a cautionary tale of drunkenness, and even a mini-musical in which The Gentlemen attempt to sing their way free from a pair of handcuffs.
Recorded and mixed at Serious Business Music, NYC.
Engineer: Travis Harrison. Mix engineers: Halsey Quemere and Travis Harrison.
Mastered at Masterdisk by Richard Morris.
"It would be easy to write off The Two Man Gentlemen Band as a mere nostalgic novelty act. While their charmingly quirky performances hark back to the glory days of vaudeville, to dismiss them as gimmicky is a mistake. Armed with an upright bass, a plectrum banjo and a veritable treasure chest of bizarre instruments — including free kazoos for the entire audience — the duo’s live act is an unparalleled experiment in controlled chaos. Touring on the heels of their riotous fourth album, Drip Dryin’ With the Two Man Gentlemen Band."
-Seven Days - Burlington, VT
"The Two Man Gentleman Band takes the old ragtime/ blues style of vaudeville music and drags it kicking and screaming into the 21st century, producing uproarious results that will have you laughing even as you're nodding your head and tapping your foot along with the endearing songs. That's because [the gentlemen] excel at taking old terms and concepts and reapplying them frontward, backwards and sideways, all while playing as ne'er-do-well rogues in their own comedic stories. "Drip Dryin" may be music played in a very offbeat and seemingly archaic style, but the humor and musicianship make this CD a pub classic."
- Backstage Pass Magazine - Daytona Beach, FL
Bruce Dascher, 2/09
Top 20 History Song of All Time: William Howard Taft
"Top 5 Album of 2008. The Two Man Gentlemen Band’s high-octane romp through hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country, and Tin Pan Alley is unabashedly joyous. There are no heavy burdens or “woe is me” sentiments lingering in their spry little ditties to spoil your good times, as these two gentlemen have no use for cynicism. Good time guys like these have no business singing the blues anyway. While this peachy keen approach to music may sound repulsive, I would find it hard, if not downright impossible, for anyone on God’s good earth to not break out into a big toothy grin when songs such as, “When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo”, “On The Badminton Court” or the CD’s title track, “Heavy Petting” was played."
Brick Weekly - Richmond, VA
Chris Bopst - 1/09
The very cool packaging (crosshatched cartoon cover, a foldover insert format absolutely free of plastic [save for the CD itself] and glue, old-timey disc printing, and etc.) is itself an eye-catcher but the music is even trippier, a cross of 20s, jug, cheapsuit serenading, Leon Redbone, and vaudeville. These two intensely loopy gents are a phenomenon with ribald lyrics, machine-gun vocals, and manic playing, all standing Drip Dryin' in a unique light.
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
"In the hands (or mouths) of the Two Man Gentleman Band, the kazoo represents a time long ago when fun was had and folks were free of care. Listening to the gentleman will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. Their new album is a whirlwind of intelligent lyrics and banjo plucking. Smart and catchy!"
-Chattanooga Times Free Press
Sean Phipps, 6/08