The rousty just-starting-to-get-drunk vibe of Parsonsfield's take on Mississippi John Hurt's Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me (one of the great all-time song titles) was what sold me on these bad boys but, shit boy-howdy y'all, lemme show ya what I mean 'cause this video's what was sent and lends a great insight into just what it is that Parsonsfield does:
Izzat cool or what? 'N, yo, what's that there shovelball game anyway??? I'm from back East (Worcester, Mass.) and don't remember that at all, dang it! Regardless, I have to say this gang's "re-debut" after renaming themselves (used to be monikered 'Poor Old Shine', apparently, unknown to the band [and to me], some kind of slur) at times reminds me quite a bit of my favorite The Band LP, Stage Fright…but then up pops Anita, Your Lovin', a cross between doo-wop and the Four Seasons. Interesting.
That turns into a Flying Pickets-ish intro in The Power of Love, which carries on balladically, but it's Hang Me that grabbed my ears even more than Mermaids, the former a rave-up with twice the energy but which also reveals a side of this quintet I think definitely needs enlarging on: jugband music. Yep, good ol' jug, y'all, as these gentz have the sauce, sass, and spit for it, not t'mention the humor.
Lay Some Flowers on my Grave sets an appropriately funereal tempo, a lament for someone having left this world (huh? is that so bad? when it's run by goddamned Republicans???), but I'm tellin' ya twice: hope 'n pray that next time around Parsonsfield gits juggy wid'it, boyee, 'cause thar's never enuff o' dat 'n we sorely need it, we shorely do. This is the band, along with everything else, that could deliver the goods…though, hmmm, the more I listen, the more Lay Some Flowers grows on me. Interesting.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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