EIGHT O’ FIVE JIVE
TOO MANY MEN
RED RUDY TOO TUNES RECORDS RRTT 002
I’VE GOT A FEELIN’–HAVE MERCY BABY–BABY I’M DOIN’ IT–MISERY LOVES COMPANY–DRUNK–YOU WAS RIGHT BABY–FEED THEM MONKEYS–INSECT BALL–KISSING IN THE DARK–YOUNG ENOUGH TO BE MY SON–TOO MANY MEN–MARKET PLACE
In the years before it became known as “rock and roll,” the genres’ of blues, jazz, R & B, swing, big band and doo-wop all coexisted peacefully in a world dominated by great players such as Louis Jordan, Joe Liggins, Wynonie Harris, Bill Doggett, and many others. This music jumps from the git-go, and Nashville is lucky to have a funky little five-piece band that knows this music inside and out. They are bent on keeping this sound alive, and bringing it to new audiences who might not even know it ever existed.
Submitted for your approval, then, is Eight O’ Five Jive. They consist of the lovely and talented Lee Shropshire on vocals, Andy Scheinman on guitar, Duane Spencer on drums, Bill Bois on bass, and saxman Patrick Mosser. On April 14, 2015, they will release their debut, “Too Many Men,” on the Red Rudy Too Tunes label. It is a clever collection of covers and originals that is described as a twelve-song “operetta” about the search for true love.
Throughout this delightful set, singer Lee Shropshire lends her sassy, strutting vocals to bring these vintage sounds into today’s contemporary world. The guys aren’t bad, either. Andy’s guitar lines are perfectly complemented by Patrick’s sax, while Duane Spencer bangs away standing up on a cocktail drum kit, staying in lock-step with Bill’s bass.
They kick things off in a huge way with Lee singing, “I’ve Got A Feelin’ someone’s tring to steal my man!” The band gets into it, adding backing call-and-response vocals on Lee’s cover of Billy Ward’s “Have Mercy Baby,” while Lee tries to comfort a downhearted friend in her original, “Misery Loves Company, so come have a drink with me!” She tackles another swingin’ tale of too many excesses in life with “Feed Them Monkeys,” especially those “felonious monkeys and Theolonius Monkeys!”
We had two favorites, too. Another of Lee’s originals was the result of a young man hitting on her in a Toronto bar, “Young Enough To Be My Son!” It follows a staccato, rapid-fire rhythm pattern, with Patrick and Andy feeding off each other. And, the set closes with a rhumba-fied story of love down in New Orleans, at the “Market Place.’ Andy bends off some mighty fine, Berry-fied pickin’ on this one, too.
From her designer Ray-Bans to the perfectly-straight seams of her fishnets, Lee Shropshire and Eight O’ Five Jive keep the humor and sly double-entendres’ of this classic era in music vibrant and alive. “Too Many Men” is a diverse rave-up of songs that will have something for everyone! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.