Troubadours of Troubled Times
What happens when you take tradition on a roller coaster ride with fun and flexibility? You get the superlative sounds of the guitar and violin swing trio Jive Five Minus Two. Acoustic swing with urban zing? Industrial folk? Jive Five Minus Two eschews categorization as they explore every alleyway of the folk tradition and take it up a mountain road of twists & turns. Tom Grant (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Jon Dichter (guitar, vocals, harmonica), & Arty Artymiw (swing violin) form a musical sensation versatile enough to swing and scat on your front porch, or to energize a crowd from a floodlit stage. Inspired by harmonies and tonality found in southern stringbands and classic swing tunes of America's earlier times, Jive Five Minus Two blends these diverse styles into an energetic form of Appalachian Swing. Whether 'zinging' their own tunes or borrowing old jewels from Duke Ellington, Stuff Smith, Johnny Mercer, or R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders, this band spins a musical charm that captures the audience with their talent and enthusiasm. ABOUT THE CD: This newest release contains 13 tracks, 4 of which are covers and 9 originals. Three from each of Jive Five's songwriters (Jon and Tom) and three that they wrote together. It opens with 'One Kiss' one of Tom's numbers, a reprise of a tune from his solo release that is reworked in the trio's unique style. It's followed by what one fan termed a 'blues symphony' cowritten by Jon and Tom entitled 'Boomerang Moon' Listen for the four distinct movements as they weave in and out of each other. Track three takes us back to New York's 52nd Street days in the late 30's at a swing club with the Spirits of Rhythm. They recorded this little known Johnny Mercer tune and we had to revive it. Track four is Jon's anthem to the hardships of being a creative person with an uplifting chorus about how deep it can be if you plumb for it, and what a plum it is! The next offering is for the young at heart who remember that mug of heated milk your mama put you to bed with. It's 'Hot Milk', written by both Tom and Jon. Following this remembrance of things past is a modern song of imagination with a foundation of love penned by Tom. Next, the third co-written one is an acoustic funk romp called 'Madness' that eschews the necessity of order in our lives over spontaneity and spirit at least some of the time. Then the pundit Jon philosophizes deeply on the fact that 'The World is Getting Older', an industrial folk number for the 2100's. It WILL be unearthed as a classic, and it's followed by yet another gem and current classic love poem by Jon. Peter Rowan's pen gave us this next fine gospel bluegrass number entitled 'Dancing with the Angels' and what acoustic swing album would be complete without a great movie tune from yesteryear, and it's another for the younger set to boot: 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' Finally we head down 'The Long Road' with Tom's rock styled lament about the pace of life and how it would be nice to slow down once in a while, and we ascend into the heavens with an a cappella finale with our friend Deb Callahan doing 'Oh What a Beautiful City' Thanks for wanting to know about this recording. Any questions or further curiosities, email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.