When guitarist/vocalist/improviser Dr. Eugene Chadbourne sings a ballad or standard he certainly won’t erase memories of Nat King Cole or Sinatra yet Chadbourne melds his acerbic wit and time-honored sense of humor with his often-stunning technical finesse as a slick picking guitarist. With Young At Heart/Forgiven Chadbourne aligns himself with drummer Paul Lovens for 2 CDs worth of original material and unlikely covers of such familiar pieces as Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark”, Willie Nelson’s “I Let My Mind Wander” and others.
Chadbourne’s warped sense of humor surfaces on more than one occasion as he interjects sound clips or as stated in the press release, - celebrity freakouts of Marlon Brando complaining about Burt Reynolds in a dressing room, John Wayne (sounding drunk) speaking to the ROTC and more! Chadbourne could also become the next Rich Little (of the avant-garde scene) as he turns in commendable imitations of John Wayne and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. –
Throughout these 2 discs, the duo performs as a slightly twisted pop unit from beyond. Yet, the good Doctor and Lovens do engage in some turbo style crash and burn dialogue, which adds yet another curiously interesting and somewhat bizarre slant to the overall affair when viewed as a whole. In any event Young At Heart/Forgiven is a gas as the musicians playfully and good-naturedly mimic some of the silliness behind standard pop fare. Here, Chadbourne’s glib musings and comedic talents resurface yet his brilliant improvisational skills along with Lovens inventive accompaniment sends the listener on a blighted journey to some abstract world of entertainment and song. Recommended!
* * * * (out of * * * * *)
Eugene Chadbourne: Acoustic & Electric Guitars; Banjo, Voice: Paul Lovens: Selected Drums and Cymbals, Stradivarius Singing Saw
Leo Record website: www.atlas.co.uk/leorecords/