Lynn Marie and the Boxhounds

Lynn Marie and the Boxhounds

Lynn Marie and the Boxhounds

Party Dress

Squeeze Records

I’ll bet you didn’t know there’s a Grammy for best Polka Album, but Lynn Marie got a nomination in this genre of the music industry dominated by old Germans in suspenders and Tyrolean hats. I grew up with polkas, not that I liked them, and to this day I can identify obscure songs and artists with a creepy accuracy. Lynne Marie comes from both the Ohio and the Texas polka traditions and sounds suspiciously like those old bands except with a bit more fidelity. Her song selection leans a bit toward Old School Country rather than Polish Dairy Farmer, but her accordion work is superb, even as she’s polished off the rough edges of this old-time folk style. “Party Dress” splits between the traditional (“Zivio,” “Glas Harmonike,” “No Beer Today”) and the off beat — The Who’s “Squeeze Box,” Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You,” and Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” fill out the entertainment.

The oddest cut lurking here is “That’s what I like about the North” which appeared on local radio the week before the CD showed up on my doorstep. It’s a long chant about cheesesteak subs and leaves turning color sung with a cheeky air, carefully avoiding the reasons most people move south — jump starting cars stuck in snow banks and dealing with relatives.

Lynn Marie’s eclectic song selection and quirky arrangements give Party Dress a novelty record feel, but I’m sure it’s done in all seriousness. Lynn Marie may never push Polka Music to the Top of The Pops, but her style provides for some fun listening and shows that no musical style ever completely vanishes.

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