Party Dress

LynnMarie & The Boxhounds

Squeeze, 2006

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Every so often, I find I need to dump the musical equivalent of heavy lifting – serious music with serious things to say – and just have some fun. I can do that a lot of ways; 80s pop, bluegrass and New Age music all come to mind. I admit, though, that occasionally – very occasionally – my ancestry comes out and I indulge myself in polka. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Yes, I said polka. Conveniently enough, some kind person sent me a copy of the new CD by LynnMarie and the Boxhounds, Party Dress, and I have to admit it’s pretty damn catchy.

LynnMarie plays polka, but with some intermixing of other genres. (Polka fusion? Newpolka? What shall we call it, anyway? Enh, never mind.) She dabbles in doo-wop (“Blue Moon”), Texas two-step (“Polka Till The Cows Come Home”), and humor (“That’s What I Like About The North”, a transplanted Cleveland girl’s homage to her northern roots). There are occasional moments when steel guitar, synthesizer, and what I think might have been bongo drum show up.

LynnMarie has a pure, clear, and wonderful voice, somewhat reminiscent of Alison Krauss. Add to that some tight musicianship – the Boxhounds are some pretty talented players – and elegant, clean production, and you have something that is pretty enjoyable.

There isn’t a bad track on this CD, even if the song choices bounce around like an unmedicated six-year-old with ADD and terminal sugar exposure. The sad ballad of “I Still Cry,” a bilingual cover of The Who’s “Squeeze Box” (wherein I think the second language is Slovenian, given it was recorded there), and a truly surreal yet oddly addictive cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You” are counter-balanced nicely by more traditional tracks like “Oh Lonesome Me,” “No Beer Today” and the danceable “Zivio”.

Steve Martin once said it is impossible to be depressing with a banjo. I believe it’s also impossible to write a depressing polka; this is just fun music with enough of a twist to keep you on your toes. Party Dress is just what it sounds like; a whole bunch of fun.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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