Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Original Rko / Unique Masters
Genres: Blues, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Let us not forget that this country's beatniks and dropouts were the same World War II veterans that would eventually start the Cold War. Watching your buddies die in front of you can make you psychotically dour, or make y... more »
Let us not forget that this country's beatniks and dropouts were the same World War II veterans that would eventually start the Cold War. Watching your buddies die in front of you can make you psychotically dour, or make you a giddy loon. The Vagabonds were goofballs of the Spike Jones persuasion who dressed up in turbans and grass skirts and sang silly -- often with a Louis Prima husk, and with a Hawaiian edge--to the troops. Some of this stuff is so anti-socially bizarre, that one suspects shell-shock or, more likely the pull of the hipster dopehead. "Salt," for example, is an anarchically impassioned plea for that rationed item, while "Pony Ride" treats us to a pleasant infantilism of grown men that the entire country would take its cue from in the 1950s. --D. Strauss
Strictly for a specialized clientele
Red J. Comb | Chicago, IL United States | 04/01/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the cover photo or the "daffiest, laffiest" tag fool you; there isn't much comedy here. What there is, is a modestly talented singing group that does some old-time favorites like "Sister Kate" as well as newer tunes. "Salt", the only overtly humorous song here, is funny more for the lameness of the attempted Yiddish accent than for anything else.
On the better side, one of the singers sounds a bit like Louis Prima, and a couple of the cuts could almost have come from Prima's 40's band.
The band, incidentally, seems to get in the way a lot here - especially when strings are added. Since we are told the Vagabonds are also talented instrumentalists, it would be nice to be able to hear whether they can play.
There is a peculiar sub-genre of music dating from the 50's-60's that is so big, amorphous, and ultimately obscure that no retro fad can ever do more than scratch the surface of it. I'm talking about the stuff that fell through the cracks of musical categorization. The stuff dating from the days when demand for records to play on one's new hi-fi was so great that literally anybody could make a record. The retro-lounge-exotica craze of the middle 90's rediscovered a small part of it, but enough to show that a lot of this stuff was better left undiscovered.
If you are a diehard devotee of undiscovered 50's-era kitsch (I confess to being susceptible to some of it), I can rather tepidly recommend it. But don't buy it if you are a newcomer to the field; you won't know what to make of it.
It may well be that the Vagabonds were a laff riot in person. However, this CD (which, by the way, is only 28 minutes long) does not give the listener any sense of that."