CD review by Tony Smith
Ann Palumbo and Paul Laszlo have been mainstays of several bands around the NSW Blue Mountains and beyond.
Urban Excentrics show a strong family influence and it is good to see younger musicians having a role.
On this album, the line-up includes Ann Palumbo (vocals, double bass, mandolin, guitar, percussion), Ben Palumbo (vocals, percussion), Larry Hoofs (guitar, cittern) and Paul Laszlo (double bass, banjo, vocals) with Ivana Popovac (vocals) and Dion Palumbo (vocals).
Part 1 contains some more traditional pieces such as the well known Irish songs ‘Foggy Dew’, ‘The Leaving of Liverpool’ and ‘Rocky Road’ to Dublin.
In these tunes, the banjo is strong.
Paul Laszlo should know his way around a banjo as he is an established luthier.
Inevitably, when you choose to cover songs which have been such standards as ‘Sway’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan’, ‘Perhaps’, ‘La Vie en Rose’ popularised by Edith Piaf, ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Alleluia’, comparisons will be made.
In some respects, this makes the originals on the album stand out.
So, Ann Palumbo’s ‘I’ll Get Through’ and Dion Palumbo’s ‘Leavin’ definitely deserve closer listening.
Part 2 shows that Urban Excentrics would be a very good dance band.
In the second part especially, it is easy to imagine their covers of tunes such as ‘One Note Samba’ and ‘Mack the Knife’ leading late night dancers around the ballroom floor.
They supply jazz and blues of high quality.