Graham Reid | | 1 min read
First some background to this one. As you might guess Elsewhere gets music and requests for reviews from many and various places -- but this was a first from Toledo, Ohio.
When guitarist/singer Steven J Athanas sent an e-mail asking if I would be interested in their album he seemed smart and witty - and when I replied along the lines of "sure, why not?"I also added that all I knew of Toledo is that it was the hometown of Corporal Klinger in MASH.
Athanas replied that Toledo was . . . well, let us just say he was uncomplimentary about whatever charms it may have.
A week or so later the CD arrived and I ask you, how could you not want to listen to something in an envelope like this?
Athanas is something of an artist as you might guess -- check out his website here -- and they have a slightly peculiar bent to them. So this is all good -- and that comes through in the music too.
The Cooters are Athanas and four friends of similar vintage (with classical and jazz backgrounds) who obviously have a very good time making lyrically funny music which owes debts to New Orleans jazz, country swing and country rock, Leon Redbone, European cabaret . . .
And when they unleash some guitar power you know they are more than just joking around. These gentlemen can really play.
Athanas sings of the joys of staying in bed on a lousy day, of unwanted but enjoyable lust, the transitory nature of life (basically we're nothing but a noun that's walking around), being stranded in Ohio, being comfortable drinking wine from a coffee cup and not caring what others think . . .
He doesn't shy from a silly and/or obvious rhyme (check C'mon below) and they still leave space for a tuba solo or a workout on odd percussion.
Toledo might not be up to much but you can guess these people must make living there much more tolerable for a lot of folks.
You can get this album by contacting them through the Coosters' Facebook page.