The Dynatones / The Dynatones

Where's Your Portki? (Where's Your Pants?)

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AllMusic Review by Steve Litwin

The Dynatones of Buffalo certainly need no introduction to anyone in the polka world. From the late 1960s, this band has made their mark time and time again. Where's Your Portki (Where's Your Pants?)?, their October 1998 release, simply powered them to the very crest of polka music. With pure excitement in this performance, this Buffalo, NY dynamo proves music from the heart is the way to make it happen. The distinctive horns, a full sound, the concertina that is forever there, the beat, the drive, the material, all together make this their best album in many years. Dave "Scrubby" Seweryniak is magical on concertina, and his vocals show why he is one of the very best. This Hall of Famer is an original Dynatone and his performances are key to the polka power of this recording and today's band. Mark Trzepacz, the leader, knows what it takes to create, maintain, and captain The Dynatones. His vocals on "My Krakowianka" polka, "Only You" oberek, and "Here We Come" make Polish polkas even more Polish in style and sound. Of course, he is the man behind the trumpet and the studio, and that is obviously two more reasons why this recording is "pure polka." Mike Burka, a veteran of the Buffalo music scene and the Dynatones, is solid on trumpet. John Formenko's accordion and Jimmy "James" Johnson's bass add the drive and fullness, respectively, that are important to produce this heart-filled Dynatones' sound. Robin Pegg, the master on the drums, may easily be the best in this polka business. He plays with an intensity and determination that has become the Dynatones. "Blondie" polka, the great Eastern-style Solek song, is covered expertly. "Scrubby's" polka, originally done on their first album, is back on this release and it is so good to hear this classic again. "Speaking Polish," from the Polkas for Children album and from the pen of Larry Trojak, is another tune that needed to be recut, and the Dynatones were the band to do it. "Sit Down Girl," "Thank You," with lyrics that send a message, and "Town to Town" are just a few more to pique your interest. Mixed by Gary Rhamy at Peppermint and released on Ethnic World Records, you will definitely want to add Where's Your Portki? to your music library.