Bedlam Ballroom

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Although it's easy to lump the Squirrel Nut Zippers in with mid-'90s retro-swing stalwarts Brian Setzer, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and Big Bad Voodoo, the Zippers have always sough inspiration beyond the patron Louies Jordan and Prima of this once-trendy movement. For their fourth album, this North Carolina collective have created a spicy gumbo of songs that draws from a variety of Southern roots traditions, including New Orleans R&B, ragtime, and Dixieland, with a dash of Brazilian and Latin rhythms to kick it up a notch. As always, married couple Jimbo Mathus and Katharine Whalen lead the charge, whether it's Mathus laying down a raspy vocal worthy of Rufus ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Although it's easy to lump the Squirrel Nut Zippers in with mid-'90s retro-swing stalwarts Brian Setzer, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and Big Bad Voodoo, the Zippers have always sough inspiration beyond the patron Louies Jordan and Prima of this once-trendy movement. For their fourth album, this North Carolina collective have created a spicy gumbo of songs that draws from a variety of Southern roots traditions, including New Orleans R&B, ragtime, and Dixieland, with a dash of Brazilian and Latin rhythms to kick it up a notch. As always, married couple Jimbo Mathus and Katharine Whalen lead the charge, whether it's Mathus laying down a raspy vocal worthy of Rufus Thomas on the Stax-Volt flavored "Do What?" or Whalen channeling Billie Holiday on the seductive "Bent Out of Shape" and the modified lullaby "Hush." Elsewhere, the sultry vocalist takes a kittenish turn on the punchy "Baby Wants a Diamond Ring" and plays Astrud Gilberto to Tim Smith's Hubert Laws on the samba-flavored "It All Depends." The Zippers really hit all cylinders when they cut loose on numbers such as the rollicking instrumental title track and the stride-piano-driven "Do It This a Way," which bring to mind speakeasies, flappers, and Fats Waller.
All Music Guide - Jeremy Salmon
Despite undergoing massive lineup changes, among which were vocalist and guitar player Tom Maxwell going solo, the death of original trumpet blower Stacy Guess, and the birth of a daughter to bandleaders Jim Mathus and Katherine Whalen in May 2000, the Squirrel Nut Zippers persevered through all of it to release a wonderful, progressive for them album. Granted, the hot jazz and Dixieland tunes that the band is known for are still present, but the first thing one hears upon listening to this album is a synthesizer and a Spanish guitar. And how about some '70s funk and soul? Funky is the surprising quality of this work, which is why the album stands out among the group's past efforts. Perennial Favorites had some good performances, but seemed more of a mere continuation of what was laid down on Hot. Here, New Orleans-type funky grooves mix with a Spanish guitar on consecutive tracks, and the juxtaposition reminds the listener of just how magnificent and inspired the Squirrel Nut Zippers can be when they try to grow. Perhaps those who were a part of the neo-swing "revival" of the mid- to late-'90s won't be so receptive to this album, but to anyone who enjoys spirited old-timey music spanning a range of times, Bedlam Ballroom is a damn hoot.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2000
  • Label: Hollywood Records
  • UPC: 720616550248
  • Catalog Number: 165502

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bedbugs (3:12)
  2. 2 Baby Wants a Diamond Ring (3:25)
  3. 3 Do What? (2:42)
  4. 4 Bent Out of Shape (2:47)
  5. 5 Stop Drop and Roll (2:58)
  6. 6 Hush (4:12)
  7. 7 It All Depends (3:47)
  8. 8 Bedlam Ballroom (2:15)
  9. 9 Just This Side of Blue (3:08)
  10. 10 Don't Fix It (3:33)
  11. 11 Missing Link (3:21)
  12. 12 Bedlam Reprise (0:21)
  13. 13 Do It This A Way (2:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Squirrel Nut Zippers Primary Artist
Greg Humphreys Background Vocals
Gavo Tomasini Conga
Mike Napolitano Guitar
Jimbo Mathus Vocals
George Rossi Piano
Katharine Whalen Banjo, Vocals, Baritone Ukulele
Andrew Bird Strings, Violin
David Wright Piano, Trombone, Electric Piano, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer
Stud Cole Bass, Background Vocals
Je Widenhouse Trumpet
Tim Smith Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Background Vocals
John Pfiffner Bass
Chris Phillips Percussion, Drums, Gong
Giustino Riccio Timbales
Technical Credits
John Plymale Producer
Brent Lambert Mastering
Squirrel Nut Zippers Producer, Engineer
Chris Eselgroth Graphic Design
Mike Napolitano Producer, Engineer
Lane Wurster Art Direction
Stacy Guess Composer
Jimbo Mathus Composer
Michael Doret Illustrations
Phil Gould Back Cover
Chris Phillips Sound Effects
SNZ Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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