I fucking LOVE tribute albums. Most music aficionados seem to look down their noses at them, and I can't for the life of me see why. I can't get enough of 'em, and my collection, which is HUUUGE, is full of absolute treasures, from takes on Captain Beyond to a re-do of Jesus Christ Superstar to a smokingly volcanic trib to Peter Green (my choice as all-time greatest blues guitarist) to stuff so damned weird that it gives me goosebumps; thus, what's with the resistance, y'all? After all, we're talking about riffs on and re-looks at music we love; what's with the patrician airs, hm? Okay, well, then there are the releases that are so imbued with the tributees' own talents that they morph into a whole different thing, and that's what Treatment Bound: A Ukelele Tribute to the Replacements by Bright Little Field is.
The Replacements were another of those ensembles whose effects were much larger than their sales and suit-n-tie respect in the commercial realm had ever been. The Jam was another such, Graham Parker too, and many more besides, but the Replacements come up a lot when musicians talk about the LPs and bands they cherished as they were perfecting their own craft. Now Jonathan Bright and Tom Littlefield—a duo, f'chrissakes, that sounds like a full solid band!—have whipped up what will undoubtedly stand as THE tribute to Paul Westerberg and his legendary crew. And, as the back liner blurb reveals, "This noise was created using only ukuleles, percussion, pots, pans, and a rubber chicken. No guitars, basses, or keyboards were harmed during the making of this recording".
Yeah, but, as I noted, you'll think there was indeed an entire backing ensemble 'cause Bright produced, recorded, and mixed everything to a fine polish, as tuneful as a happy carefree day in high summer. The guy knows his panpots from his frammistats, and this is pop/folk rock at its finest. Start out with cut 3, I Will Dare, maybe Paulie's best comp ever, and you'll be turning somersaults. The track is unbelievably happy and infectious. Normally, I hate that (think The Bangles), but this glows. Even if you weren't enamored with or knowledgeable of The Replacements, Treatment Bound will impress the hell out of you. You needn't take my word for it, just find one of those Net links into a cut from the CD, and when you listen and start drooling, you'll know I was right.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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