Unlike most contractually obligated recordings, this was released contrary to the band's objections. The music is quaintly derived, charming and wittily sung by Kelly Flint
, who has a sweet innocence in her voice, not at all affected or warbling, but open, honest and pure. The "Dave" is guitarist Dave Cantor, who leads groups of different-sized complement, from big band to small and mid-sized combos, all with swing on their mind. This may be a neo-revivalist band, but the lyrics are so fresh and the playing so authentic that they cannot be linked with Squirrel Nut Zippers
and their more posed ilk. Flint's stories, all penned by Cantor, are at times jaundiced with the uncertainty of love and the fickleness of trusted partners. "Dear Miss Lucy" is a letter of warning that "he" is still "mine" over an old-timey swing, "Kathmandu" is a query-laden, slowly ticking time bomb of doubt, and "Baby Who Are You?" combines the two themes as if she's caught him red-handed. All are typical of this lot/genre of old-fashioned rhythm and emotionalism. Observing others' travails, Flint dotes on a lady friend's complex life during "Misery," bluesily concludes another is "Far Worse Off Than I," and laments of lost passion during the most typical straight love ballad, "Still I Adore You." There's the tale of the oriental playboy "Won Gon Du," flavored with whimsical clarinet from Greg Wall
, and the prison reference on the slooooow ballad "Florida Time," with trumpeter Steve Gluzband
ensuring the sentence will agonizingly pass with his "I told you so" lead and solo. Also added are the light calypso with hidden-meaning lyrics "Lilly-110-140," the spy/stealth bossa "Voletta's," and the noir ballad of remorse and regret "When Kafka Was the Rage." Cantor takes the vocal chair on the male talking blues about "Chicks," while Flint and Dave
's guitar alone tell of a journey with "Slow Boat" references on "China Tour." This is a quite delightful and entertaining recording, nothing to be ashamed of, and far less derivative than other, much kitschier bands hovering on the perimeter of swing or jump blues these days. We'd recommend it, despite the group's misgivings.