The Blue Rags

The Blue Rags

Eat At Joe’s

Sub Pop

There’s more than one way to do ye olde tyme sound, just as there’s more than one way to skinne yon catte. The Blue Rags borrow from Dixieland, gospel, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and just about any made-in-America genre you care to name, and lovingly recreate fresh originals that have universal appeal. With the same kind of unabashed enthusiasm for decidedly uncommercial art as the Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Blue Rags manage to overcome whatever resistance today’s trend-followers may have and give them a choice of being hogtied or start dancing — I’ve yet to find someone who can’t find one or seven tracks on here they enjoy.

Starting with the Lovin’ Spoonful-like “Movin’ On,” the Blue Rags meander all over the country, in space and time, to come up with songs like the scorching “Can’t Tie That Knot,” the wobbling boogie of “My Life” and the unabashed two-stepper “Baby Back.” There’s also several hard-to-classify moments, like the churning and rolling “Bye Bye.” Eat At Joe’s is probably cruising through all the expected charts by now, but there’s really no reason keeping the Blue Rags from stomping out some new ground. For a taste of real American music, feast your ears on this.

Sub Pop Records, 1932 First Ave., Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101; http://www.subpop.com

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