Two weeks ago I was working in my back garden and cranking Happy Lucky Combo’s brand new CD, Lucky Buddha. Incidentally, the Buddha residing under my Japanese Maple wore a serene expression approaching nirvana, due in no small part, I’m convinced, to the kick-ass tunes emanating from this long awaited new recording.
Where do I start?
I was prepared not to like the first song (Chinese Go Go). Nothing against Antonio Begonia’s amazing voice, but I had previously heard Stephen Williams of the Ululating Mummies perform it live with the HLC boys and I dug his version so much I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Although my heart still belongs to Stephen’s version, I was blown away by Antonio’s beautiful and haunting voice–she complements the musicianship flawlessly. And Oriental Bulgar–omigod. I can’t listen to this song without snapping my fingers and breaking into a MIddle Eastern wedding dance–not that I know any Middle Eastern wedding dances but the music inspires me to fake it. Kudzu Temple affects me the same way. So many good songs–I think my favorite may be Empty Orchestra. It just makes me happy.
Let’s face it. Happy Lucky Combo gets a lot of shout outs in this blog because of Barry Bless’ awesome accordion skill–it’s an accordion blog after all. But my favorite drummer, Pippin Barnett, who also produced this lovely CD, and stellar bass player, Dave Yohe (the three of them form the happy–and lucky–combo) make Barry’s squeezebox sound even squeezier.
They smartly invited several fabulous guests to join them on this CD, including major accordion talent (and my former accordion teacher!) Robert Jacobs; baritone sax player Emily Avesian; Christopher Hibben of Gourd Orchestra fame; and even Barry’s wife and 11-year-old twin daughters who kick butt in the chorus of Sakura, a traditional Japanese song celebrating the cherry blossoms.
It’s a cool CD. Buy it, listen to it, and get your dance on. You won’t be able to help it. Bruce Triggs and Rowan Lipkovits–if y’all are reading this, a copy of the CD is on its way to you.
Richmonders can hear HLC this Friday night from 8-10 at Stir Crazy (no cover!) on MacArthur. And you can buy a CD while you’re at it. See ya there!