Eight O'Five Jive
Red Rudy Too Tunes
Swing Set is an appropriate
name for the latest album from Nashville-based retro
swing/jump blues ensemble Eight O'Five Jive,
because that's pretty much what you get with this
collection of 11 originals. It's a solid follow-up
to their 2014 disc, Too Many Men, given a
rave review by me in the
September 2015 Blues Bytes issue. Like on their
previous release, this band pumps out a whole lot of
sound for a five-piece group augmented by horns from
The Horn Stars.
Ms. Lee Shropshire is again the star
of the show, with a vocal style that harkens back to
the big band blues era of the 1940s, although
guitarist Andy Scheinman is also a master at his
craft while handling a lot of different styles here.
Rounding out the band are Patrick Mosser on sax,
Bill Bois on bass, and Duane Spencer on cocktail
drums (don't feel bad if you aren't familiar with
this term --- I had to
look it up).
Among my favorite cuts on this disc
are the jumping "Get Away," which will have you
packing a grip to make that getaway with Miss Lee,
and "Never," with really nice jazzy guitar riffs
from Scheinman and a tastefully subtle bass line
One of the more frantic jump blues
numbers is "My Mumblin' Baby," again showcasing
Scheinman's hot guitar work and some equally superb
The real showstopper on Swing Set
is the really creative original "I Won't Wear Flats
(To Your Funeral)," in which Ms. Lee gives us some
very sassy vocals about that man who didn't treat
her right. She tells him, " .... I won't wear
flats to your funeral, I won't wear black to your
wake, I'm gonna wear green with an elegant sheen,
and my hair like Veronica Lake ...", and later
adding that she's going to" ... wear red because
you're going to be dead ..."
Ms. Lee really plays the scorned
woman role well, as heard on "Watch out for Their
Wives," complaining because her preferred man took
his wife on vacation while she was out on sedation.
Closing the album is a fun ode to
alcohol, "A Little Bit of Bourbon," with that
recurring line being followed by Ms. Lee singing
"... it's a good thing I've got a lot ..." This
number builds to a cacophonous ending with every
backup vocalist joining in on the blues shouting and
plenty of big saxophone.
OK, Eight O'Five Blues, you've
hooked me. When can I expect you to come to my part
of the country? Until then, I'll keep jumpin' and
jivin' to both of your fine, fine CDs.
--- Bill Mitchell