Well, this is refreshing discovery. Based in Northern England, but sounding every bit like a Cajun band, born of the Bayou and grooving with a New Orleans swing, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra combine jazz boogie, barrelhouse piano, mandolin and accordion into a mix that makes this debut CD a compelling listen. We have folksy blues skiffle on Great Fire of Byker and the title track. There are drinking songs and laments about lost love, taxes and debt. There is even a song about the dubious joys of fish.
My favourite song is Hot Bath which jumps out of the speakers with a real ragtime groove; ‘hop right in while I give you a scrub’. Barro Alto shows a different side to the band and stretches their playing into new areas of finesse. The happy stomp of She Don’t Like Fish is pure Django Rinehardt territory with fine guitar parts complimenting the cornet playing.
Top marks for the production which is bright and airy. The eleven songs are perfectly paced and make this CD a really vibrant listen. Highly recommended.