The Sugar Kings

Take Your Time, Mr. Brown

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The Sugar Kings play the type of music that seems up-to-date if one hasn't turned on his or her radio for the past 70 or 80 years. Cam Waters, Clint Hoover, and Steve Sandberg bravely tackle classics by Bukka White and Charlie Poole with tubas, harmonicas, and hi-hat cymbals. There's a nice version of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Bad Luck Blues," complete with fancy guitar work by Waters, and a fun take on "Furniture Man." To prove they aren't completely stuck in the past, the Sugar Kings also cover Don Gibson's 1958 classic "Oh Lonesome Me" and Tom Waits' "Ice Cream Man." Dakota Dave Hull lends a hand to the production and adds his National guitar to a handful of cuts. Other guests include Bill Hinkley on fiddle and Jim Fields on washboards. The steady tuba along with the bluesy-feel of the material will remind one of a number of jug bands. It's fitting, then, that the album closes with a cover of the Memphis Jug Band's "On the Road Again." The Sugar Kings capture the good-time spirit of these old tunes, delivering fresh versions for the computer age. Take Your Time, Mr. Brown will appeal to any jazz-blues fan who doesn't mind a backward glance along with a healthy dose of tuba.