Friday, January 05, 2007

***String Bean Jones***

Holy cow! How could I have missed this one?!? Every so often somebody will bring to my attention a CD that has been out for a while that they think should be heard, and sure enough, they were right on with this album. It was like coming across a stack of old 78s in a second hand store, full of music you've never heard before and won't hear anywhere else.

Jeff Harris, aka String Bean Jones, has released a reeediculous number of CDs with his Lefty Jones Band, all wonderful and all amazingly original. The music is sort of acoustic / electric / Neil Young & Crazy Horse / travelling through St. Louis via Vicksburg via Baton Rouge. Harris' first kids' album, String Bean Jones; Live From The Bathtub, continues the legacy of originality and eclecticism, with an emphasis on acoustic performances.

From the Mississippi blues of "Mudpie" to the tender "Babyman" to the rowdy "Peas Fell Hard", from the chugging piano of "Pickle Blues" to the sweet "Alone with the Lightning Bugs" to the silly "Stinky Ann", Harris' compositions and lo-fi production style ( did he really record it in a bathtub ?!? maybe! ) are instantly captivating, and thoroughly entertaining in a "wow - what the hell is this - i love it" kind of way.

Check out some of the clips from all 17 (17!) Lefty Jones releases over at CD Baby, go to iuniverse and browse through a few pages of Harris' "Smiley-Man Chronicles", then buy copies of all his music for yer kids, uncles, grandmothers, dogs, and various strangers. They'll thank you.