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The Moonlighters Enchanted Review

posted: 8/4/2009 - Bookmark and Share

CD review of Enchanted from UKULELE PLAYER

Bliss Blood and The Moonlighters recently released their latest CD,
"Enchanted" and the best way to describe it is, enchanting.

Here is the song line-up:

1. Enchanted
2. Winter In My Heart
3. Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Love
4. Race Track Papa
5. Don't Cry Baby
6. Fooling with the other Woman's Man
7. Don't Baby Me
8. Sheet Music Man
9. Queen of Loneliness
10. It's Bad For Me
11. Night Smoke
12. One More Time
13. Texarkana Bound
14. I'm Still In Love With You
15. Blue Angel Medley

The album kicks off with a sweet little steel guitar intro. The sound is
straight from 20s and 30s jazz and follows the genre through 'til the end.

"Enchanted" is a Bliss Blood original tune. Her love of this genre is
evident in her smooth vocals. The musicianship is great and the band has a
pretty unique brand of swing.

"Winter In My Heart" sounds like something from an old Bing Crosby flick.
PIcture Dorothy Lamore singing this one and in comes Der Bingle. Bliss
wrote this one, too. She's really captured that classic sound. This song
could have come from the movie classic Holiday Inn.

"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Love" is a cover tune. The harmonies are
unique in this. They grew on me. The more I listen to this track, the more
I like the vocal blend. The steel guitar is sweet and Bliss has a
rock-solid meter on her rhythm uke.

"Race Track Papa" is another tune that written by Bliss, along with Marty
Bartolomeo. This is a fun little tune that starts off slowly and jumps
into a swinging rock-a-billy beat. I take that to be inspired by the horse
race metaphor... and their off. The song then returns to that campy sort
of beat that it had in the beginning. I really enjoyed this song.

"Don't Cry Baby" is an Unger, Saul, and Johnson cover tune. I love the
placement of this song in the lneup. This is a make-up song. Follow it by
"Fooling Around With the Other Woman's Man". Looks like Race Track Papa
ran off with that young phillie. The harmonies on this tune have a nice
vintage vibe to them.

"Don't Baby Me" has a nice little rhythm to it. Cindy Ball, the band's
guitarist wrote this song. Bliss plays a really swinging ukulele track in
this and the string bassist laid a great foundation in this song. The beat
is wonderful and the band is really tight.

Without that solid beat you can't play a song like this one and make it
work. Timing is everything and this song is a great example of doing it
right.

"Sheet Music Man" is a song about a piano player just playing the gig.

Way back... 1960s, there was a piano store in New York City and a guy sat
there in a tuxedo playing music for several hours a day. I always wondered
if the guy was bored just sitting there. I always wondered if he yearned
to play some boogey woogey.

"Sheet Music Man" brought that to mind.

"Queen of Loneliness" is another Bliss Blood original tune.Here is another
song with a vintage vibe. The steel guitar player adds a nice "lead break"
in the middle followed by strong vocal harmonies. This song sounds like
something Judy Garland would have sung.

"It's Bad For Me" is a classic tune by the great Cole Porter. If there is
one thing this song lacks that the original doesn't it's a baritone male
voice. And in this rendition, it isn't missed. I love the vocals here. I
am thinking Andrews Sisters.

There is a great steel guitar lead in The Moonlighters' version of this
song. The ladies pick up after the lead break with that signature vocal
sound and wrap up the song on a nice note.

"Night Smoke" is the second song on this album written by Cindy Ball. The
picture she paints with her lyrics and the mood of the music remind me of
Hollywood classic movies. I imagine Humphrey Bogart walking into some
cheap gin joint and walking to the bar, the eyes of everyone there
watching this stranger cross the floor. The gal at the microphone almost
misses her cue and a gentle nudge from the bassist brings her back to the
here and now.

"One More Time" is another cover tune. Same gin joint, same dame, same
fedora and zoot suite. The music swings and so do the lovers on the dance
floor. Now, though, everyone watches as Bogart escorts Bacall out the
door.

"Texarkana Bound" Bliss wrote the lyrics on this song. Mike Neer wrote the
music.

Somehow, I picture a person with a dream that will be fulfilled in
Texarkana. What a fun tune. I love the music. It has a swing beat that
picks me up and takes me away to Texarkana.

Bliss and Cindy show what they can do on this number. Their vocals shine.
This is what music is all about. You can feel the energy.

If your toes aren't tapping by the end of this number, your feet must be
glued to the floor. I love it!

"I'm Still In Love With You" was written by Bliss.

This is another great swing tune. Having this song following Texarkana
Bound is an example of perfect placement. I love the chunk, chunk of the
ukulele strum and the interplay with the steel guitar. I just wish the
bass had been a little higher in the mix. The vocals are great, as usual.

"Blue Angel Medley" is the last track and a good cover to wrap up this
wonderful CD.

Don't worry that it's in German. You don't have to worry about not having
a clue what the lyrics would be in translation. It's a great tune, whether
you know the language or not. Music is the international language and this
song is really good music.

If you love the sound of 20s and 30s jazz, you will enjoy this CD and a
live performance of this wonderful band.

The Moonlighters really have their act together and now, I just might have
to order the whole CD collection.

Bliss and the band are talented musicians and judging from their videos,
they take the stage and play from the heart. The crowd seems to love them
and you can count me among their fans.


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