As you might surmise from a song titled Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes (and yes, it sounds just as you’d imagine, a sort of summery Iowan Fairground Attraction with a ukulele), the breathily-voiced Laube (a touch Neko Case) has a playful streak. Something immediately reinforced by The Bike Song, a two wheel riff on Woody Guthrie’s Riding In My Car with distorted spoken verses, handclaps and trumpet, and the Elvis doo wop-cum-swing-cum-blues Oh My (Oh Me! Oh Me Oh My) featuring Allman Brothers veteran and Rolling Stones keyboards man Chuck Leavell on piano and organ.
A warm relaxed, mood percolates this self-titled album (her third), opening with the folksy rolling Already There, Laube playing banjo and digital celeste, and taking in the acoustic waltzing old school country This One’s For You. A restyling of Cocaine Blues for sucrose addicts is offered on the fingersnap New Orleans jazzy Sugarcane featuring horns and violin, whilst the fingerpicked train rhythm Sweet Boy From Minnesota offers hints of Steve Goodman before arriving at the drawled slide guitar, harmonica blowing, Chicago blues of You Ain’t Worth My Time Anymore.
Closing on the jazzy, lyrically upbeat and breezy Green with Skylar Wilson organ and also featuring a fairly straight-ahead cover of waltzing country chestnut Satisfied Mind, it’s a stylistically eclectic brew, part sugarcandy, part bourbon, sweet but with a real kick.
Review by: Mike Davies
Released July 31st 2015 via Ahh…Pockets! Records