On Old, Workdogs (Scott Jarvis and Rob Kennedy) make no attempt -- or little attempt, at any rate -- to sound particularly young or hip (hence the title and faux-retro cover art). The liner notes, written by one Yves Bisquet, describe Jarvis (drums) and Kennedy (bass, vocals) as fuzzy, shambling oldsters ensconced in a retirement home, coaxed to leave its clean, efficiently run environs to kick up a ruckus one last time (presumably before they shuffle off this mortal coil). That's the concept, although the music is a little brighter and busier than it would indicate. The lineup includes the dynamic duo backed by a diverse array of N.Y.C. pals on guitar (Jon Spencer, Marce Hall, Jerry Teel, and Ted Horowitz), saxophone (Kurt Hoffman and Adam Kolker), and other instruments. Combined with what Bisquet refers to as the "talking blues" (lyrics more spoken than sung), the end result is a casual, off-the-cuff, jazzed-up rock & roll that sounds like a less-virtuosic Frank Zappa or more freshly scrubbed Tom Waits.
AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy
feat: Jon Spencer