The Luddites

One Hundred Years of Lunacy

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The original Luddites of a century ago were anti-technological destroyers of machines; these Luddites are musical creators. From a cornucopia of '30s and '40s references, they construct a carnivalesque, celebratory dance sound. Swing, ragtime, hot jazz, and more exude from the pieces of this large ensemble. The 11-piece includes acoustic bass, guitars, accordion, harmonica, percussion, mandolin, cello, kit drums, saxophones, trombone, trumpet, and vocals, among other instruments. There are three main songwriters on this album: bassist David Giovannucci tends to lend a surreal poetry suggestive of Poi Dog Pondering to the mix; main vocalist Lisa Goedert gives the most direct and nearly snarled pieces about being a cat, celebrating a birthday, and cybersex with a nearly snarled delivery; and harp man and vocalist David Turner, who shares lead vocal duties with Goedert, offers the dark, shadowy elements in the Luddites. In Turner's visions an abattoir is an analog for love and hypodermics are farm tools. Breaking up this potpourri in the middle is a purist version of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine." The varied lyric content and rich instrumentation make this collection a solid album worth repeated listens.

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