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Time to Stand

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
In some ideal parallel universe Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli traveled through time to Ft. Worth, TX, and joined the band of the Belleville Outfit to cut the album Time to Stand. The gypsy jazz connection is implicit, and while their music pays homage to both Bob Wills and Reinhardt/Grappelli, this Austin based outfit has an uplifting vibe that's all its own. The sextet's musicianship is exemplary throughout and combines Reinhardt's bounce with the exuberant swing of the Belleville Outfit on 13 tunes that'll keep your toes tappin' and your fingers poppin'. Singing fiddler Phoebe Hunt takes the lead on "Time to Stand," the album's opener. It's a Cajun/swing hybrid marked by hot fiddling, sparking piano, and a stuttering backbeat; the lyric sums up Darwin's theory in three jaunty verses and a bridge. "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby," the old Louis Prima and Keely Smith tune, gets a Texas makeover with Hunt and guitarist Rob Teter standing in for the Vegas vets and delivering the jiving lyrics with plenty of sass and sizzle. The Walter Hyatt tune "Outside Looking Out" gets a similar jump blues treatment with Hunt and Teter harmonizing over an energetic track that features a driving acoustic bass solo from Jeff Brown, inspired jazzy fretwork, sparkling piano from Connor Forsyth, and Hunt's always snappy fiddle. "Let Me Go" is a moody rocker with a hint of Cab Calloway in its hidey ho rhythm; Forsyth's piano and Hunt's fiddle accent the tune's low down feel. Hunt takes lead vocals on "As Good as It Gets" a giddy swing tune full of cheery optimism. Forsyth's playful piano and Hunt's crazy fiddling sprinkle the track with cheerfulness. Even on the bluesy tunes, the Outfit's rousing energy and positive outlook keep things lively. The players are at the top of their game, shifting tempos unexpectedly and adding concise solos that keep the music moving while displaying their impressive chops. This is a cheerful platter guaranteed to chase away the blues and sprinkle a little sunshine around the house every time you put it on. ~ j. poet, Rovi