Friday, April 18, 2014

Father Goose: Bashment to the Penthouse

When I lived on Long Island in the early '80s, the Stray Cats were in vogue. A bunch of Long Island natives who emigrated to England to make it big playing rockabilly, they also inspired radio stations to push a bunch of other musical genres, such as ska and reggae.

Listening to Father Goose's new children's CD, BASHMENT TIME, I was brought right back to my college days. After I spun an hour of comedy CDs on Monday afternoons for the college radio station, "Jimmy Jim" came in for two hours of island music. He would often show up with seconds to spare, hand me a Bob Marley CD and say, "Cue up side two, mon." Then he would disappear and leave me sitting there, as Marley sang through tracks one, two, three... I would do Jim a favor and air his ad spots. He would resurface, smelling of odd spices, hand me another CD (mind you, I've been off the air for 20 minutes and late for my next class) and say, "Cue up track two, mon."

No, this did not cause me to hate island music. Nor did it preclude me from encouraging my kids to embrace "world music," although it's not particularly my thing. We first encountered the good Father Goose back in his days as Dan Zanes' sideman, coming out at the end of the shows as Symphony Space to get the crowd on its feet for the final few songs.

Goose left Zanes and embarked on a solo career, with a first album ("It's A Bam Bam Diddly!") coming out in 2007. After a health problem, he retrenched for BASHMENT TIME, a term that describes high energy Jamaican dance hall music. And it's a collection of upbeat tunes that put you right on the Island ("Farmers Market," "Top of the Mountain," and "Jamaica Ska").

Guest stars on BASHMENT TIME include Dan Zanes (almost a given) on "Constant Sorrow," as well as Joanie Leeds ("A Who?") and Josh and the Jamtones ("Iko Iko"). There are also some native influences with Lady Asha, Princess Goldie, Roxanne Farrell, and even Little Goose). The vibe is "house party" and the procession of revolving visitors provides an inviting, open feel to the proceedings.

Although it's been seven years between CDs, Father Goose is not laid back when it comes to production. BASHMENT TIME has a full, dynamic sound that will force you into action. If your feet aren't twitching, then your head will be bopping and your fingers will be drumming. You've been goosed.

BASHMENT TIME is available through Father Goose's website, iTunes, and CDBABY.

Here is the video for the song, "Constant Sorrow," featuring Dan Zanes:

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