4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fun, chronological journey through our favorite days of the year,
This review is from: Holidays! (Audio CD)
Playing Time - 53:55 -- When Brave Combo first formed in 1979 in Denton, Texas, they were called a New Wave polka band. However, a quarter century later, they've proven they are much more. Your hear influences of country, jazz, rock `n' roll, surf, blues, Celtic, Tex-Mex, Latin, Klezmer, big band, and salsa in their music. And there's a good measure of the novelty element too. So that explains Brave Combo's moniker and cryptic genre, but it's really not that baffling. Behind the scenes, I suspect that the band is very serious about their tunes. It shows in their arrangements and musicianship. For us, music is a rather personal thing, and we usually listen to it for enjoyment and stimulation. "Holidays!" succeeds because there's something for everyone. Brave Combo's prime directive is to "break down people's perceptions about what's cool to like in music.... to shake up people's ideas about what they label hip, or right or wrong." They also say that acceptance of polka and other dance rhythms can help bring about world peace. If people start dancing together, they'll also learn to respect each other's cultures too. So put your inhibitions and restraints aside...Get up and cut a rug.
"Holidays!" gives us a fun, chronological journey through our favorite days of the year. They begin with "Auld Lang Syne" and "New Year's Polka," then take us through 19 cuts to "Mambo in a Brand New Year." But what happened to Martin Luther King Day in January? That's one of my favorite winter days off from work. Hey guys, it's not too late to pen a song called "MLK Porter," a tribute to the homebrewed beer that was started in a friend's garage that day. And where is the tribute to Veteran's Day? How P.C. is it to jump right from Halloween ("Vampire Twist") to "Thanksgiving Day." While definitely eccentric, they have built a legion of fans who like the outlandish with a grooving, danceable beat. Dr. Demento would appreciate them too.
The package includes Larry King's liner notes about making the CD. As producer of the TM Comedy Central Network, he was on the lookout for good original songs that met their criteria for morning radio shows. Brave Combo is Jeffrey Barnes, Alan Emert, Carl Finch, Bubba Hernandez, and Danny O'Brien. Guests on Holidays! include Rob Avsharian, Joe Cripps, Milo Deering, and a whole host of background singers. With over a dozen albums out on the Rounder label, Holidays! is a playful phantasm of foolish and often frenetic festivity. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR)