Monday, May 09, 2011

Shout Sister Shout's Retro Jump and Swing

The quintet, Shout Sister Shout, took its name from a Sister Rosetta Tharpe song and brings together an enthusiasm for the music of the thirties and forties. MC Records has issued Hit That Jive which is a slightly enlarged version of a self-produced CD that has been available on cdbaby.

The Michigan based quintet is comprised of Rachel Davis on vocals; Joe Wilson on trombone, steel guitar and vocals; Andy Wilson on Harmonicas, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dominic John Suchyta on upright bass and vocals; and Joshua Davis on guitar and vocals. While its obvious when Ms. Davis sings, the male vocal on Louis Jordan’s No Sale, is not identified, but that track does feature some nice steel guitar. There is a bit of retro flavor to some of the performances which goes with the repertoire. This is not to say they get overly campy and don’t show respect to the music.

Ms. Davis is certainly easy to listen to and does a marvelous job on the Louis Jordan evergreen, Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, as well as the standard Moonlight in Vermont, with nice steel guitar and harmonica in the accompaniment. It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, has a bit of campy feel in the backing although their is some nice trumpet and steel guitar again before Davis’ straight-forward vocal. “Carolina Moon,” has a bit of campfire country flavor with steel guitar in the backing and country flavored harmonica.

Other selections come from the discography of Billy Holiday Ms. Otis Regrets, and God Bless the Child, the latter having more trumpet. She accounts for herself well although she not in Lady Day’s league as a singer (few are). Andy Wilson’s harmonica leads off “It’s a Paper Moon,” where one the men (Joshua Davis?) shares the vocal with the rhythm strutting behind the singers. On Don’t Let Your Eyes Go Shopping For Your Heart, Ms. Davis’ lovely vocal is backed marvelously by Joshua Davis’ restrained guitar. You Rascal You, one of the two tunes added to this edition of the recording, has some nice tailbone trombone and the closing Hit That Jive Jack, features an ensemble vocal.

Also included is a short behind the scenes video of clips of them recording and talking about themselves. Hit That Jive, may not be profound, but it certainly is a delightful recording that provides a refreshing change of pace for listeners.

This review originally appeared in the July 2009 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 318) and my review copy was provided by M.C. Records.

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