Sunday, September 18, 2011
Hobby Horse Round-Up
"Charming" is not a word that I use very much. And it certainly isn't a word that I'd use to describe very many song-poems. But there are a few, and exhibit A may be today's feature, Gene Marshall's performance of "Hobby Horse Round-Up". These are genuinely sweet, whimsical words, set to a fairly appropriate backing, with a particularly well selected bass line.
I could always do without that God-awful synth that they were using by this point, and Gene reads the melody wrong early in the performance, but these are minor complaints. It's actually a tribute to Gene Marshall and the other song-poem singers, that they so rarely flubbed a word or a melody, since they were very likely seeing these words and music for the first and only time, upon singing them. And his warm, sweet vocal here fits the lyrics well. A winner.
Now, onto the flip side, where we find the deeply odd "Riders of the Purple Sky", complete with disco beat (I dig the drumming at about 1:35), Clavinet, and inscructable lyrics, wherein the riders are actually of several Purple Things (sage, sky, day), and it seems that far more is being imparted than 100 seconds could possibly contain. What's it all about, Gene? What's it all about, Priscilla? Another winner!