Still Alive And Kickin' Down The Walls


aec.cdb61977.2 11/15/11 New
$11.89 $13.99

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Review Text Bryan and the Haggards: avant jazzers playing the Merle Haggard songbook. It's got to be a joke, right? Wrong. It's not about dragging Hag's tunes, kicking and screaming, into the jazz canon. It's just a bunch of guys playing songs they like. In fact, if you remove the saxophones and add a singer, they would sound just like a honky tonk band, two-step shuffles and all. And they stick very close to the original vocal melodies. Oh sure, the sax playing can get pretty woolly, but it's always grounded by the melody of the song. And this is not a silly one-off side project either. This is their second album as Bryan and the Haggards and the exact same group has been performing together for years as Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord. The way the saxes play off each other within the context of the song is evidence of the longstanding rapport these musicians share. Jon Lundbom takes his solo on "Seeing Eye Dog" a bit outside and country music probably hasn't heard the likes of Moppa Elliott's country-scat-arco solo on "San Antonio Rose," but the guys play it pretty straight for the most part (up until "If We Make It Through December," when things get a bit unhinged). So while Bryan and the Haggards are certainly not a joke, they are a hell of a lot of fun. ~ Sean Westergaard

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Ramblin' Fever - 5:44
  2. 2. Seeing Eye Dog - 5:55
  3. 3. Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star - 5:43
  4. 4. Sing a Sad Song - 5:52
  5. 5. Mixed Up Mess of a Heart - 4:59
  6. 6. Turnin' Off a Memory - 4:12
  7. 7. San Antonio Rose - 4:20
  8. 8. If We Make It Through December - 10:06

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