Feel Like Dancing indeed! The Jefferson Rose Band, led by the bassist/musical director of the same name, starts off their disc with the perky Esperanza centered in Cameron Brownfield's island guitar playing. But the festive atmosphere never flags, even in the more balladic numbers, which usually can't seem to keep their composures quite reined in and have to get up and boogie along with all the other cuts. JRB's an ensemble digging life and carrying the audience along with them, never on a downer and with only a few blue notes in the pack. Oh, maybe a moment of reflection or two, as in Anacortes, or a bit of soul blues in Set Me Free, but otherwise this ensemble is an irrepressible good times gig.
The just-as-perambulating trumpeter Samantha B'shnorkestra' Boshnack (here) joins in on four cuts, and Leslie Kitchen throws in vocal harmonies on over half the repertoire. The seven-member band, though, is quite sufficient unto itself, sporting a sax-n-flute/trombone duet, double percussion, and two sets of stringed axes along with new singer Alex Kitchen (most definitely female y'all, so don't be fooled by the moniker). Everyone sports killer chops, so it's difficult to single out anyone for particular praise, though I will say that if JRB ever loses percussionist Ahkeenu Musa, they'll be hurtin' something fierce.
Playa Cocles makes ya wanna form a conga line in your living room and then sashay out the door and around the whole block, inviting friends and neighbors to join in, margaritas in hand, yipping and hooting. That'll happen more than once during Feel Like Dancing, so make sure you live in a hip neighborhood, or you'll have the Republicans frowning, glaring, and running for their Bibles and saltpeter. But there's a second problem here: chanteuse Kitchen brings undeniably Brazilian flavors in her very cool sets of encantations, but I also really like the instrumentals, so…man o man, I HATE being put in between two affinities! But wait, I have it! JRB needs to split their coming discs into half-n-half'ers: 50% with vocals and 50% without, like Hiroshima and other groups did and still do. Yeah, that'd solve the dilemma very nicely indeed. Okay, start the hip sway again and tell Rush Limbaugh to get his gelatinous rear end off the boulevard, I'm ready to cut a rug.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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