Petunia & The Vipers 'Self-Titled' - Petuniamusic

When the album opens on a yodel you know you can expect something outside of the mainstream. This Canadian band are fronted by the man know as Petunia who is vocalist and songwriter with this band who explore a roots music that has it origins in a time that was less defined that is the usual today. It is a mix of vaudeville, old time, country, rocakabilly, ragtime jazz, swing and blues. A formula that a number of current bands use to produce their own particular elixir. Petunia has gather around him the like-minded Vipers whose sting includes Jimmy Roy and Stephen Nikleva bit of whom served time in the like-minded Ricochets of the late Roy Condo, the line-up is completed by Mark L'Esperance and Sam Shoichet. Frontman Petunia biog tells that has played with numerous musicians over the years and has been a busking entertainer for many of those. He knows how to front a band with verve and vigour. Songs like Gitterbug are immediately appealing with it's rockabilly rigour. But his take on the song Stardust is a more reflective affair taken at a slow tempo that befits the mood. (Never, Never Again) The Ballad Of Handsome Ned is a story song that is delivered in a cinematic style that has some likening The band's wide ranging approach to that of director David Lynch. There is a slightly unnerving mood that is indeed similar but it is one that enhances the music overall. There is an empathy at work within this combo that fully realises the breadth of vision that is on show. Broken Down Love has an eerie quality and a sound like a musical saw that underlines Petunia's crooned tale of heartbreak. His song Che (Guevara's Diary) is a musical evocation of the famed revolutionary's tale at a certain point in his life. By contrast the cover of Forbidden Lovers is taken as a and old style country ballad with sweeping steel guitar and a straight down the line vocal. The closing cut It Ain't has a robust double bass riff and kazoo upfront on a swinging rhythm under the high-style vocal that caps an intriguing and inventive album that marks the entry of an compelling singer and band who doubtless deliver live as they do here. Catch them either way or preferably both.