I was lucky enough in my freshman year of college to have a roommate who was not only not psycho, but was probably half the reason I made it through my first year of school. Besides the fact that I would occasionally walk into my room and find a chocolate bar on my pillow, Maria also just looked after me. Case in point – my first couple of months into the school year a friend gave me Johnny Cash’s album “American V.” Since we lived in a room the size of a shoebox, Maria knew when I was listening to it. Immediately upon hearing it for the first time, she laid out the rule that I was only allowed to play it once every two weeks because, as she put it, I would go into a “coma of sadness” if I listened to it more than that.
This rule will also be applied to Lambchop. That’s not to say, in the slightest, that I didn’t enjoy Lambchop’s music Tuesday night at Lincoln Hall – the Nashville, Tennessee-based band’s music has an exquisite sadness to it that grips you. My concert-mate assessed it as “music that makes you want to cuddle.” You could just as easily swap out the word cuddle for huddle. Front man Kurt Wagner has a voice that resonates between a croon and a mumble, bringing to mind a combination of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and maybe a hint of Bob Marley. If you listen carefully though and decipher the mumble, there are lyrical gems waiting – if phrases like “the wine tasted like sunshine in the basement” rolled off my tongue, I’d quit my day job and hit the road touring as well. All of this is to the backdrop of an eclectic mix of old-school genres ranging from smooth jazz to country to orchestral to lounge music.
If you’re looking for a taste of sweet melancholy, give “Mr. M” a listen – but remember, just a taste – no more than once every two weeks.