If 'tongue-in-cheek' isn't a musical style, it should be, and The Americana Lovebirds dwell within it far more than most. Jason W. McKinzie and Amy Celeste Young-Beard are the 'Birds, and they embrace something not heard much even in the country catalogue: an evocation of a very odd but distinctively rough-cut humor prevalent in the mid-West, usually in the farming/cowpoking communities. To describe the bent is impossible but suffice it to say that whenever you run across someone delivering the most curiously ambivalent comments upon something in a way that you can't quite nail but seems to be heretical, all with a deadpan face, you're right in front of it. The Lovebirds, however, turn that upside down, laying out everything with a sweetsy smile and often hilariously "innocent" tropes.
Doctor Please may be the best example of that, a song making reference to horrible diseases like dengue fever, tetanus, and conjuntivitis ("'Cause I can catch that from you!") while singing of the mysteries of "this affliction" the couple in question has run across: love. One can distinctly hear the sparkle in McKinzie & Young-Beard's eyes as the tune just gets more and more faux-naively crossed up in its own purposely horked-up similes and metaphors. Funny as hell. Of course, there's more than one direct reference to the ancient double-backed beast, winked and grinned at in the most curious blend of Betty Crocker and Hustler magazine.
'N, boys, you're gonna be able to sing the lyrics to I'll be Ready in a Moment, Dear before you even hear the song, an all too familiar commentary on the preparatory ablutions of wimmens as they ready themselves for an evening of entertainment. There are true love songs in Americana as well, though even they, Baby Let's Kiss and Make Up for instance, are chockful of rollicking verses. Ya just can't iron either the Opie Taylor or the Dan Hicks / Kinky Friedman out of this pair, nor should you want to. As I said, such a mode of country folk music is a rara avis and not to be lightly passed over. Though you'll be grinning and hooting at most every cut, this is a serious matter, dang it, and as soon as I down this leetle whiskey shot and tack the new Playboy calendar to the garage wall, I intend to sit down and give it grave thought…if, that is, the wife I don't have doesn't object…and why the heck isn't she ready for the square dance yet???
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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