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The Asylum Street Spankers - God's Favorite Band

God's Favorite Band

The Asylum Street Spankers

Yellow Dog Records - YDR 1409

Available from The Spankers' online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Mark S. Tucker

Gather 'round, brethren, as I lay the gospel of Spankers 9:35 on ya. That's right, the ninth A.S.S. CD has wafted down from the clouds, and it carries eleven heavenly save-ya-fum-da-debbil tunes gah-roan-teed to slap Satan on his ruby keister and high-tail yer sinnin' hiney back to Gawd Almighty! Sing it, o holy choir, sing it, but mind it's in the key Brother Wammo and Sister Christina taughtcha! After all, save for 2 cuts wrought by the very same Monsignor Wammo, these are time-honored holy rollin', high holy steppin', and inspired shriekin' and groanin' numbers inspired of the Angel Gabriel himself, as traditional as the Good Book and as old as the cross (well, almost all—I mean, who the hell is this Gordon Gano blasphemer, and aren't them Gershwin brothers some kinda knee-grow non-WASPy not-quite-white guys?—someone alert the Klan).

Yep, the Spankers have caught 'em a fine mess o' religion this time around, so when you hear occasional seemingly smart-arsed sarcasmry on a mighty fine song like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego or Jesus Walking on the Water (that, hmmm, just might be the teensiest bit modernist, if I may say, beloved—I mean who or what the hell is 'Nirvana'; sounds like heathenry of some sort), it's not, let me warn ya, the fleering of a lost anarchist sinner but rather a quaking and spirit-fired penitent playing the sonic dozens just for you! Can I get an amen? Well, hallelujah!

Yes, o bro's and sistren in the Holy Ghostie Guy, God's Favorite Band is inspired come-to-Jaysus music, not some jiggery pokery by a buncha snarky sassy college innerlektual types covertly laughing up their sleeves at Gawd-fearin' types, at the idea of worshipping things that don't exist, having a helluva high time doing so, no sirree, JimBob! This is snakehandling, warmongering, pass the ammunition, honest-to-Christ tongue-speaking Chris-Tee-Inanity (start passing the hat, Brother Rush)!

And when Sister Christina warbles like a shameless Jezebel, as she occasionally does, it's to remind all our wimmensfolk to follow the straight and narrow lest they grow backtalky, prideful, feministicky, start enjoying sex, and stuff like that there! A fine example she sets, too. Then the upright members of the crew—the Right Rev. Nevada Newman, Prime Usher and Collection Plate Potentate Stanley Smith, Hellfire & Damnation Preachifyin' Guy Forsyth, Explosively Devout But Too Damn Poor to Afford a Second Name 'Sick', Catechism Ubertaskmeister PB Shane, and Confessional On Steeroids Scott Marcus—wield the sacred gee-tar, banjo, percussion thingies, licorice stick (Gabe's second favorite toot!), bull bass, and, oh faithful, there are just too many strings and reeds to count!

Thus, lay a sinless ear to God's Favorite Band and secure your place in heaven…or purgatory…or, well, at least in the outhouse choir. Ya won't, and I'm certifying this on the Tabernacle of Tone and Truth!, be sorry ya did. Wash your soul in the laving waters of the Spankers healing flood. But if you come away from the near-dozen sermons like a grinning monkey, snickering at the rites and rituals of believers while shaking a tailfeather to the down-home rhythms and back alley boogies, then let damnation descend upon your soul!!! To blazes with thee, I say, to Hades! But remember, the Lord never closes the door all the way! There's always a crack left ajar—or was that a jar of crack?—and might I suggest the penance be a visit to the rest of the Asylum Street Spankers straight-from-the-cherubim-seraphim-and-archangels catalogue? It only makes sense!!!

Oh, and thet cartoony of Beelzebubba with his rear bared and holding a flaming spankin' paddle? It ain't an idolatrous hee-haw at Dan Scratch—tho' it kinda looks that way—no, no, no, it's an inspired warning of what's in store for the wayward soul…and by 'wayward soul' I mean, lessee here, what's the Book of Saint Goober say?….oh yeah, it means "someone who doesn't buy the CD." Be warned. And just to ensure of your soul's safety, gander at the rest of the Yellow Dog label…it's God's favorite roots imprint, and that ain't no lie!

Track List:

  • Dark Was the Night, Cold was the Ground
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
  • Each Day
  • Right and Wrong
  • Jesus Walking on the Water
  • Last Mile of the Way
  • Down on the Riverside
  • By and By
  • Volkswagen Thing
  • Wade n the Water
  • It Ain't Necessarily So

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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