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Bar band get too much attention
on 18 March 2006
Basically, the Little Willies are a hony tonk bar band got lucky. I say lucky, but there's nowt lucky about having Norah Jones singing and playing in your band!
So, this bar band looks back to the days of Hank WIlliams and Wetern Swing, chucks in a couple of reasonable originals, bungs out an album which their mums and dads buy, and no-ones the wiser. Apart, of course, from the previousl mentioned Notah Jones factor, which means what should be an easy rolling ride becomes an object of massive media attention. Which puts a very unfair focus on what should be a easy ride. So, I may as well join in and critique the hell out of something which shouldn't be scrutinised to the nthe degree.
The Fred Rose number "Roly Poly" sets out their stall from the off, with a swinging little arrangement and co-vocals from Norah and Richard Julian. The Elvis classic "Love Me" is absolutely fabulous, especially with Norah taking the lead. "It's Not You It's Me" is one of the new tunes, but swings like it's 1933. Kris Kristoffersons song "'Best Of All Possible Worlds" suffers from not being Kris Kristofferson but then who is.
There's a couple of lesser numbers before Norah gets all playful on the Willie Nelson number "Gotta get Drunk" and it is a real blast to see her fooling around and having fun. Later on, they also have a go at "Night Life", but miss the mark that time. "Streets of Baltimore" is a stone cold Tompall Glaser classic and is the most 'country' song here, with Richard Julian taking the lead. To be fair, the album then tails off, bar the rollicking "Tennessee Stud", which is just plain funny. Although I'm sure Lou Reed will be delighted (*cough*) at the closing track, "Lou Reed", which has Richard Julian doing Lou doing country doing bad things to cattle.
"The biggest little bar band in New York" have been playing together since 2003, and this sounds just like it should. A group of friends having fun. Treat it like that rather than the Bible II and you'll have some fun.