"Combining a magical attic?s worth of dusty musical idioms, iridescent golden harmonies and a quirky lyrical worldview, The Ditty Bops provide a refreshing antidote to the misbegotten, soul-grinding notion of thinking you... more » know what happens next.... Abby DeWald (guitar) and Amanda Barrett (mandolin/dulcimer) embody the simple Saturday afternoon pleasures?of thrift store finds and getting lost in the library?with their amalgam of ragtime, jazz, vaudeville, Western swing and folk, but it would sell the Bops short to lump them in with nostalgia-driven absolutists." (Austin Chronicle) The Ditty Bops are different, way different, and that makes the singing-songwriting-playing duo of Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald special. On their second album, Moon Over The Freeway, co-produced by Mitchell Froom (Suzanne Vega, Crowded House, Elvis Costello) as was their 2004 self-titled debut, The Ditty Bops are strangely, wonderfully captivating.« less
"Combining a magical attic?s worth of dusty musical idioms, iridescent golden harmonies and a quirky lyrical worldview, The Ditty Bops provide a refreshing antidote to the misbegotten, soul-grinding notion of thinking you know what happens next.... Abby DeWald (guitar) and Amanda Barrett (mandolin/dulcimer) embody the simple Saturday afternoon pleasures?of thrift store finds and getting lost in the library?with their amalgam of ragtime, jazz, vaudeville, Western swing and folk, but it would sell the Bops short to lump them in with nostalgia-driven absolutists." (Austin Chronicle) The Ditty Bops are different, way different, and that makes the singing-songwriting-playing duo of Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald special. On their second album, Moon Over The Freeway, co-produced by Mitchell Froom (Suzanne Vega, Crowded House, Elvis Costello) as was their 2004 self-titled debut, The Ditty Bops are strangely, wonderfully captivating.
Shasta G. (Gu3mom) from MAYER, AZ Reviewed on 8/15/2010...
Consistent with their other work ... light, whimsical, melodic.
It's The Ditty Bops' World (We're just along for the ride)
Anne R. Eason | Deep Gap, NC USA | 05/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I write this review, the intrepid Ditty Bops are beginning their bike and music tour from LA to NY. Go Amanda! Go Abby! I caught the Ditty Bops on the dance stage and Americana stage at MerleFest last month in Wilkesboro, NC. Totally smitten, I bought their debut album, produced by none other than Mitchell Froom. My wife then purchased for me the Ditty Bops risque Bikes & Bikinis 2006 Calendar. I speak for both of us when I say, "Va-va-voom!" Moonlight Over the Freeway continues the Ditty Bops' collaboration with Froom, a producer (Suzanne Vega, Los Lobos) who knows how to put his own stamp on a project while letting the musicians do their thing. Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald are amazing singers but it is their songwriting which has really taken off since the debut album. Their unique 21st century cabaret sound soars on cuts like "Nosy Neighbor" and "Aluminum Can." The instrumentation is clear and nearly 100% acoustic with odd accordions, toy pianos and lap steels joining the guitar/mandolin party. The album has 13 cuts, not a clunker in the bunch. The sole cover is a sweet harmonious version of the Everlys "Bye Bye Love." As a final note, The Ditty Bops are complete entertainers. They enjoy the entire process--from the music to the costumes to the stage presentation. They also have the best website of any new act out there. Check out the Femme Fatales of Fun! You'll be glad you did."
A thing of beauty
Cap'n Phealy | Vallejo, CA | 05/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time I heard the Ditty Bops' "Ooh La La", from their first album, was on the radio. A caller promptly berated the DJ for playing something which didn't fit the station's rock and roll format. I wanted to box the guy's ears, since he obviously wasn't really using them, anyway.
When I loaded this CD into my iTunes, the genre listed was "Unclassifiable". Amen to that - the Ditty Bops' "everything, including the kitchen sink" approach to music is a true joy. There are elements of pop, folk, jazz, country, even music hall. It's all too much fun for people who need their music quantified into strict labels.
Oh, and good luck to the ladies on their bicycle tour."
Angels with an attitude
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Ditty Bops stalwartly ignored the typical pop conventions in their self-titled debut -- and they continue ignoring in "Moon Over the Freeway," their second album of jazzy folky ragtimey cabaret pop.
This time around, the Ditty Bops try out some new sounds -- blues and country rear their heads every now and then -- without losing their enchanting sound or their catchy li'l melodies. In other words, this original duo does not have any signs of a sophomore slump.
The title track starts off the album with visions of summer nights melting into autumn, road trips, and fun with your friends. "Moon over the freeway catch us as we ride/We just left the city, left it far behind/Silhouettes of palm trees, airplanes cross the moon/Living in the moment of the girl who left too soon," they croon over the banjo and guitar.
That whole cheerful-folky sound continues with "Angel with an Attitude" ("I've got a chip on my shoulder/and a halo on my head!"), before changing to a more meditative, slow-moving sound in the languid "Fall Awake," and a string of bluesy, soft-edged little folk ballads.
By the middle, they're dabbling in country-western flavours in the jazz pop, before fortunately switching back to the psych-folk of "Growing Upside Down," ragtime dance numbers, and a trio of folky numbers that finish up with the accordion-pop of "Your Head's Too Big," which I will have to send to my ex-boyfriend.
Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald are getting a lot more attention with their second album, courtesy of a song on "Grey's Anatomy." Well, they richly deserve the mainstream attention -- their pop music is rich in creativity and talent, and even their least imaginative songs (I just don't like country, okay?) are still solid and enjoyable.
Amanda and Abby create a number of haunting, earthy little melodies that are filled up with every instrument their songs can handle -- guitars, banjos, toy piano, tambourine, mandolin, dulcimer, accordion and what sounds like old hand bells.
They also mishmash different styles, which creates sounds like country with a cabaret flair, or jazz with a folk edge. That offbeat sound carries over into their vocals, which are almost harmonized perfectly. Their pretty voices are just out of sync enough for you to notice that there are two of them.
The best part is the songwriting -- no fluff or cliches in these songs, just good solid songwriting with a witty, surreal edge, and a knack for producing memorable imagery. For example, in one the girls muse that "Your head's too big/It grows like a balloon... And if you're unluckier than that/Someone such as myself might come along/And it just might pop." Top that breakup song.
The Ditty Bops continue turning out wonderful music in "Moon Over the Freeway," and make them one of THE new-ish bands to listen to. Delightful."
Fabulous cd to clean your house to...
Marvelous Marv | Lexington, KY | 05/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most "lesser-known" artists put out a great debut cd, then a [...] follow-up that sinks their potential to reach more fans. But the Ditty Bops now have 2 superb cd's as far as I'm concerned. I work in a bookstore that sells cds, too, and I'm peddling "Moon Over the Freeway" so hard, my co-workers are starting to hate me. Too bad!"
Yes to the Bops
Fluffy | 07/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Darn those Ditty Bops for songs that you can't get out of your head. A better, beautiful and more hauntingly gorgeous melody than Moon Over the Freeway - if it exists, it must be in another universe. Very seldom would I buy a 2nd CD unheard but after that first incredible debut cd, there was no doubt that I was going to love this one too and I do but in a much different way. The only true comparrison I can make about the two is that I loved every song passionately on the first and the "Moon" isn't a "10 for 10" but a good "6" and what tunes they are. Why the Ditty Bops are not more popular than they are is beyond me but I have to admit, I get great joy in introducing friends to the world of the "Ditty's" and it's unanimous; everyone loves them."