Whoa! Avant-Sinatra?!?! Is such a thing possible? It certainly is, and Joe Ferrara is one of a slowly rising set of musicians and singers who understands what will constitute the next wave of Tin Pan Alley, if that appellation any longer has any true applications beyond its own time-solidified niche. The Tiger Walks through my Dreams is a Las Vegas wrung from Blade Runner or Running Man, just enough into the future to displace anchor points but nowhere near Forbidden Planet. Even when staying within temporal context, as in Absinthe and Arsenic, a decidedly Mike Garson-ish feel arises, as though Aladdin Sane might have occurred to Nelson Riddle as well.
Tiger is definitely a beast of a different timbre, and the choice to cover Charles Strouse's Night Song pretty much codifies the strangely familiar displacement: "Where do you go when your brain is on fire?…When you can't help wondering where do I belong?…I stand in wonder: Who the hell am I?" Listening, I'm struck. What the devil is this? Sidereal parody? Clevely subtle blaring camp? A new dimension of tongue in cheek? Rocky Horror ziplined over to Martiniland? But no, none of that, and yes, all of that, an intrepid potpourri straddling several of the more elusive sonic niches (including tiki a la Martin Denny). David Bowie may have copped Anthony Newley's gig, but Joe Ferrara swallowed Frankie in heroic doses, dragging him over to Shirley Bassey's pad for steroid treatments.
The guy possesses a strong voice and just as indomitable a presence, oozes confidence and machismo, and is well flanked in Tim Oiumette's orchestral arrangements, bold dashing thematics as muscular as Ferrara's encantions, the latter of which, in Morrisey's Dial-a-Cliche more than once wax deliciously Tim Curry-esque. Jesus, but this guy's take on that song knocks me out! (its follower, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, also extremely striking), the sort of thing Kenton would dig. No two ways about it: this is music that hasn't been made yet save for right here right now, still managing, God only knows how, to echo down the millennia, tripping out the patrons at The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe…and you, too, if you're hip and unhinged enuff to survive the experience.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles