The Countdown Quartet

The Countdown Quartet

The Countdown Quartet

Yep Roc

In a lot of ways, the Countdown Quartet reminds me of the Squirrel Nut Zippers — they seem to take a very rootsy approach to their music, drawing from a wise variety of established sounds, and they feature three SNZ members, including Jimbo Mathus. However, the Squirrels ended up with a sound suitable for a speakeasy ballroom, and this is more appropriate for a side-of-the-road crawfish shack — and it ain’t a paved road. The Countdown Quartet aren’t from crawfish country (Raleigh, NC is their home base), but their mix of jazz and funk certainly qualifies them as naturalized citizens of New Orleans. Add to this hefty wallops of gospel, blues, ragtime, Dixieland, what have you, and the result is some sort of mongrel gumbo, stewed together from what was hanging around the kitchen. It smells strong but good and tastes even better. “Kissin’ On The Couch” is a tongue-in-cheek bluesy number, while “You Left Me Standing” admires the fact that “you were always wrong, I was always right, but you love a good fight.” The Countdown Quartet may not fit comfortably in a pigeonhole genre, but their joyous racket is infectious, and I’ve yet to play this for someone who isn’t grinning like a Cajun with a belly full of Dixie and mudbugs by the time it’s done.

Yep Roc Records, P.O. Box 4821, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-4821;

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