CD Review: Uncle Moon | Music | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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CD Review: Uncle Moon


Maybe you do want to see how the sausage is made, especially if the ingredients include strange bedfellows like Willie Nelson, the Butthole Surfers, Thelonious Monk, and Doris Day, to name but a few. Homestyle, Red Hook-based quintet Uncle Moon’s smorgasbord of a debut, is a savory blend of roots music, smoky cabaret, spoken word, and the potently dark and funny images of leader Trey Kay’s devilish id. It’s a heapin’ helpin’ that’ll stick to your ribs.

A lot of Homestyle is about trying to satisfy hunger—for food, drink, sex, and bittersweet vice. The culinary tone is set with the boozy, deathbed-ravings-of-Humbert Humbert version of Lerner & Lowe’s “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” via Tom Waits (I think I’ll have the veal, that’s how I feel/May I use your skull for a bowl?”); the second course is a “Twilight Zone”-inflected cover of the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper.”

The first original offering—the jaunty “LumpyCraddyPoPo”—overflows with mischievous glee.
The versatile fivesome of accordion, double bass, violin, saxophone, and Kay’s acoustic guitar and medicine show bark-meets-seductive croon sets an alluring table with a bawdy blues (“Spring”), a gypsy romp (Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages”), and a thumping hymn to modern-day demigoddesses (“Uta Hagen”).

Steeped in old-world cosmopolitanism but modern enough to employ vocal processors and references to Uma Thurman’s sexiness, this Homestyle meal will satisfy more than one kind of craving.

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