by Margaret Coble
Local scenesters Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul have a new baby they are very proud of: their sophomore CD Son of a Gun, which was recorded this past December at producer Mike West’s 9th Ward home studio. Recorded with the Son of a Gun Band, which includes bassist Sneaky Pete and drummer Matt Swiler, along with contributions by singer-songwriter Myshkin (vocals) and West himself (mandolin, banjo, and guitars), the album achieves the duo’s stated goal of a fuller, richer sound—without compromising their witty campness or earnest roots-music base.
In fact, the expanded band only serves to heighten the listeners’ awareness and appreciation of Pete and Paul’s particularly southern-sounding stew of country, blues, gospel, folk and rock—making an overall categorization difficult. They use the term “Louisiana country-fried rock” in their own press kit, a description that seems to fit the funky twang of songs like “Sign Me Up (I’m Ready)”, “Whatsyername”, and “History of Heartbreak”, but other cuts are more folksy sounding (“Magick” and “San Francisco’s Not to Blame”) or cabaret in nature (“M’sieur”).
Regardless of how they are categorized, there’s no missing the solidity of their song writing and arrangement skills, as well as the quality of this production. Space limitations do not allow me to break it down song-by-song, but suffice it to say that all 14 tracks of this superb 46-minute follow-up to Fine Red Wine glisten, leap out of the stereo speakers as if Pete and Paul were singing right there in your own living room. This is primo original New Orleans music that speaks not only to the gay experience but to everyone’s, with a voice that’s funny, sincere, clever and insightful, and a sound that’ll have your toes tapping, your hands clapping, and your voice singing right along.
Of course, acts like Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul are best appreciated live, but this disc does a damn good job of capturing their essence. Get the best of both worlds at their CD release party, where they’ll be joined by lap steel guitarist Michael Aaron, chanteuse Miss Susie K, the beautiful Teryl Lynn Foxx, and other surprise guests! For more info, check their web-site.
May saw the release of the boys’ second disc, Son of a Gun, and it is definitely a winner. You can download samples from each and every track on the new CD and “try it in your home, risk free!” For information on how to get your own copy, check out the ordering information at the bottom of the page.
No sooner than the new disc gets released those wacky troubadours are headed out on the road again. A lot of new dates have just been announced! Check out their upcoming shows; maybe they’ll be in your neck of the woods!
Pete and Paul have a mailing list set up at Yahoo! Groups, so you can subscribe and get all the latest news about tour dates and appearances, new releases, website updates, and other fun stuff right in your mailbox!