Updated Tue, Oct 2, 2012 3:03 pm
Raucous roots-swing duo The Two Man Gentlemen Band returns to Athens this Wednesday.
Tenor guitarist, banjoist and singer Andy Bean and bassist Fuller Condon have been touring the country for about six years, winning hearts and minds.
Although their music is very much steeped in the sound of pre-war jazz and Western swing, the majority of their repertoire is lyrically contemporary and primarily penned by Bean.
A review in the Boston Phoenix described the songs as "smart, funny, with sharp rhyming…in the company of classics like Louis Jordan and Louis Prima." Another reviewer described the duo "as if The Smothers Brothers were young today, wore better suits and wrote hot jazz songs about drinking."
Their most recent album, Two at a Time (released this spring on their own Bean-Tone label), was recorded live to monophonic tape using vintage equipment, without effects or edits, giving the entire project an extra added low-tech retro feel.
It's obvious by the energy and the expertise of the performances that these two musicians have played together for years, as both street musicians and professional showmen.
At times it seems impossible that all the ruckus and racket on the recording was produced by just two guys with two instruments. The themes of the 10 Bean originals on the album are similar those on six previous albums: That is, most of the songs are about food, beverages and partying.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band will perform at Jackie O's Pub and Brewery in Athens, Ohio, on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.jackieos.com.