The Skiffle Players

The Skiffle Players

The Skiffle Players

Skiff

Spiritual Pajamas

Clearly, some background on “skiffle” is required, given this band’s predilection to drop the term at the drop of a hat. The term (as a musical genre description) was born in the US to describe a rag-tag assembly of instruments and blues, jazz, and folk. The term was revived and applied to a corresponding scene in the UK in the 1950s. In many ways, skiffle led to subsequent explosions of British rock and folk in the 1960s.

Are The Skiffle Players a skiffle band? Well, yeah, in spirit if not nostalgic accuracy. Composed of a rag-tag assembly of noted musicians (whose pedigree is an exercise left to the readers) and bringing a wide variety of influences to the table, Skiff is a veritable potluck dinner of an album, kicking off with a sadness from Spain in the form of “Cara” and quickly following with the metal-pedaled boogie of “Local Boy” for a taste of the back-and-forth all over here.

There’s an unbridled energy throughout the album that’s hard to not enjoy. “Wham!” is a rollicking bit of cut-and-paste whooping, “Skiffleman” has the band channeling bombastic Ween hard, and “Santa Fe” is a heady combination of droning raga and field chant. Meanwhile, “Los Angeles Alleyway” could have been written and performed by Marshall Crenshaw.

The album closes out with a spirited “Sweet Georgia Brown.” I imagine if this was a live show, I’d have a hard time proving I had more fun than the band. Wildly recommended.

skiffleplayers.com

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