|Sean Mencher - Sean Mencher
Goofin' Records GRCD 6136
Sean Mencher is better known as a lead guitar player with the Texas Rockabilly Trio "High Noon". Sean lives in Portland, Maine and this CD was recorded in Maine last July with his "Sean Mencher Combo". The group is doing mostly local dances, clubs and weddings and this CD gives a good picture of his rockin' sound. The Album is a great mixture of Americana, rockabilly, country, jazz and a bit of R&B.
The CD hits off with a classic from the late Curtis Gordon, the catchy and peppy "Rock, Roll, Jump And Jive", an energetic jumper with thumping double bass, fiddle and guitar, and hell yeah, the title of this song covers the contents of this brilliant album. Next one is a cover of a Hank Williams saloon song: "Setting the woods on fire". The arrangement of fiddle and guitar pickin' has been done very well and this catching song really fits Sean's voice, a tip top foot tapper. Some top notch telepicking and fiddle art is showed off on Hank Thompson's "Right or Wrong", it really reminds me of similar great things that happen in a Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant recording, great stuff! Next song speeds a few gears down with Bill Neely's "Cryin' The Blues Over You", a laid back folky blues song with just Sean on vocals and guitar, accompanied by a bluesharp. Cool song if you have the blues. Fifth track is a Mencher original: "Bayou Beauty" a great Cajun song seasoned with all the necesary ingredients to cook up a spicy gumbo tune. Fiddles, accordian, Lafayette and jambalaya, it's all there.
Another song catches my ear, "Mustat Silmat", which is Finnish for Black Eyes or Ochi Chornye in Russian, Schwarze Augen in German, Cerne Oche in Czech or Zwarte Ogen in Dutch. Yes, it's the most famous Romani song, the gypsy anthem. This song has a long history and must have been recorded literally thousands of times. My personal best ever version has been done in 1960 by Dutch ace-guitar player Andy Tielman and has since never been surpassed by anyone. But of course I was really anxcious to hear Sean's version. He had choosen for Chet Atkins' arrangement, and added his own ideas of course. The song begins with Chet's intro, a slow 3/4 tempo, but soon after that Sean drags the listener into a wild vortex of improvisations on the theme. Magnifique! What begins as a waltz soon transforms into a jazzy instrumental with highlights on every musician in it. Well done, bravo!
There's much more on this album for you to enjoy, there's something in it for every roots music lover, take my word for it: as an Americana fan you simply can not afford to miss out on this fine album.
Reviewed by Uncle_B, 2006