How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
As soon as this sweet baker's dozen swings into action, you may feel as if you have walked into a lemonade commercial. The slightly sleepy fretwork of Jordan Officer gets the opening title track off to a dreamy start and Susie Arioli's brightly burred vocals follow along quite nicely. Pacing up for "Honeysuckle Rose," down again for a sparkling "Night and Day," and then way up for a rockabilly ride through the well-titled original "Jordan's Boogie," the dynamic duo and their competent support staff keep the mix interesting but never lose their underlying sense of fun. Even in the after-hours ballad "Don't Explain," Arioli keeps a slight smirk in her voice, as if her man has done her wrong and he wants to watch him squirm a bit. Similarly, the chugging blues "Having Fun" retains its titular tone despite its downtempo setting and "I'll Never Smile Again" is laced with a subtle hint of pride. Even when the music is slow and mellow, Arioli's ability to capture and project its mood-lifting capacity that makes the song (and the band) truly swing.
Track Listing: Pennies from Heaven; Honeysuckle Rose; Night and Day; Fooling Myself; Jordan's Boogie; Don't Explain; I'll Never Smile Again; Having Fun; Sit Down Baby; Walter's Flat*; He Needs Me; Do Nothing `Til You Hear from Me; No Regrets.
Personnel: Susie Arioli: vocals, snare drum; Jordan Officer: guitar; Michael Jerome Browne: guitar; Jeff Healey: guitar; Solon McDade: bass; Colin Bray: bass; Ralph Sutton: piano (10).