Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ray Condo and His Ricochets

  • Swing Brother Swing! [Joaquin, 1996] A-
  • High and Wild [Joaquin, 2000] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Swing Brother Swing! [Joaquin, 1996]
Mining catalogues known and unknown (Count Basie, Carl Perkins, Ruth Brown, Red Allen, maybe Stuff Smith; but Larry Darnell? Glenn Barber? Lew Williams?), this Vancouver combo converts swing, jump blues, and rockabilly nonoriginals into fiddleless Western swing chocked with newly unearthed references to getting laid and pissing ice and Jerry Lee's taste in teenagers and romantic despair vanquished with a simple "Come the revolution for me." They take over the material so completely that it's hard to tell whether the songs were this good to begin with, and beside the point to care. Singer Condo has a rubber mouth to go with his brain, both of which he sometimes stretches around a saxophone reed. Drummer Steve Taylor could rock the bar with takeout chopsticks and a wastepaper basket. A-

High and Wild [Joaquin, 2000] Dud