The Skiffle Players
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.