Paul Moore: Musical Medicine Show

Paul Moore: Musical Medicine ShowPAUL MOORE Musical Medicine Show Sagamore 272

Paul Moore's Musical Medicine Show, released earlier this spring in Israel, brings together both well-arranged standards and additions to the jugband/washboard band genre, performed by Moore and backup players identified as the Washboard Wizards Novelty Orchestra. Individual numbers on this spirited, novelty collection evoke recollections of the Hoosier Hotshots ("Sweet Sue," with a recorder/slidewhistle duet) and the Cheap Suit Serenaders ("Singing in the Bathtub").

Strong, original songs by Moore include the opening number, "Step Right Up" and "The Sleepwalking Blues." His "Yiddisher Charleston" is a funny, klezmer-style nod to his local audiences. "Get Me to Hawaii" reborrows a Jimmy Rogers tune in a corny appeal for his audience to purchase the CD. "My Girl's Pussy," another original, is a song you would not want children learning and sharing with friends. Standards include "Some of These Days,"

"Whispering," and "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone." The final cut, "Out of Nowhere," while well done, is a jazz arrangement with no clear relation to the other selections other than its performance by his backup musicians. Most numbers feature Moore on lead vocals, ukulele, washboard and/or miscellaneous instruments; backup includes a wide variety of reeds, brass, strings, and percussion. Moore's kazoo is used with unusual taste, making brief and surprisingly welcome contributions to a couple of cuts. Arrangements are tight and beautifully mixed; this is an album in which even the ukulele can be heard distinctly.

While the album is a delight among my recent favorites--for its songs, instrumental quality, arrangements, and sheer fun, I found Moore's feigned accents on vocals often distracting ("Yiddisher Charleston," "Over Consumption Blues").--SL