Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Wild Irish Roses

Here's another attempt on my part to stay relevant with what's on the calendar, by posting a song appropriate for St. Patrick's day tomorrow! In this case, it's a circa 1965 record from Tin Pan Alley, "Two Little Irish Roses", sung by someone named Nick Fontaine.

Mr. Fontaine's name appears on only two documented Tin Pan Alley discs, and only on one side of this one.  His vocal is artless and struggles with varying success to stay on pitch throughout, but as this latter point is true of many who recorded for TPA after about 1963, there must be some other reason for his brief tenure with the label.

Note that although the record is nearly three minutes long, there really aren't even two full verses here, and the record is padded by about 1/3 of its total length by one of the dullest instrumental passages imaginable.

I wanted to make the post a tie-in to the holiday, and have done that, but the real meat on this disc is to be found on the non-Irish side, provided by our old pal "Lance" (as he was always credited), and a rollicking number titled "Darling Teenager".

The surf-styled drum intro and doo-wop chords leading into the vocal tell you immediately that you're in for something fun, and the rest of the record doesn't let you down! Something about the pianist's style leads me to strongly believe this is a jazz guy slumming in the song-poem trenches - his chording, soloing and other licks just don't fit this style at all, which just adds to the sort of wonderful weirdness of the track.

"Lance" isn't really up to the task (and rarely, if ever was, on his TPA sides), but at least he has something resembling a style. On the other hand, his shouted encouragements seemed canned - the one at 1:45 sounds exceptionally fake and cracks me up every time. In addition, this is another song where a couple of verses have been stretched out to the standard 150 seconds by an extended instrumental solo, although at least in this case, it has some energy. All in all, a very entertainingly weird track.

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