Combine a hefty dose of nostalgia with a mix of jazz and toe-tapping rhythms and you’ve got yourself A Peck Of Dirt, the brand new album from Fanny And The Atta Boys. Released on March 24 with support from Heyday Media Group, this is an album of sounds that are sure to pack any old-time dance floor, and we are pleased to premiere it here.
Characterising the depression-era jazz that influences their music, the powerful vocals of Fanny and Natt Wise bring energy to the band’s simple yet enticing arrangements. Opening with signature single “Simple Love”, Fanny sets out to beguile with her laid-back vibe. She picks up in “Sugar Moon”, with orchestration that foretells the swing of the big band era, and raises her game yet again in “Sold My Soul”. Without a sign of remorse for the deal, Fanny’s vocals decorate traditional arrangements, proving that she is a front-woman to be reckoned with and respected.
Get your jitterbug on with “You Won’t Change Me”, an instrumental pick-me-up, shaking out a break-up song that definitely skips over the heartache. If you had any doubts that those Atta Boys can hold a tune, check out the counter-melody. It takes skill to make something so simple sound so good. Can’t bear to leave the dance floor? Skip to “Heart Of Gold” for a musical work-out that’ll put a smile on your face and a blister on your heel, or fast forward to a wartime vibe with “Oh The Band’s A-Rockin”. It may be Vera Lynn’s centenary this week, but she’d find something familiar from her heyday in this new release.
Echoing early gospel roots, it’s impossible to listen to “Lord Hold Me” without recalling the Coen Brothers’ fabulous treatment of bluegrass in their iconic movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”. That’s no bad thing, since the soundtrack won a Grammy for Album Of The Year back in 2001.
There’s country flowing through this album too, from the freight-train temp of “Sunshine” to the cheery banjo and guitar-infused confection of “Restrictions” with the mood-swinging lyric “things have been worse..but things could be a damn sight better”.
And don’t forget your helping of blues too. “Fanny’s Blues” may be reminiscent of past eras, but her story of endless trials is timeless. “Erie Lullabye”, spooky and sinister, gives the blues another outing with a hint of Scoobie Doo in the twang of the tune. Cleverly arranged with contemporary hints woven into period melody, Fanny and her boys know how to intrigue. Every listen brings something new to excite the ears.
Brace yourself for the finale. “Miles To Roam” hits with an a-capella gospel intro that places Fanny’s voice into an altogether different league. Classy and turbo-charged, these vocals demand attention and applause. The perfect combination of blues/jazz/country to conclude an album that must, surely, take a place in the roster of roots music.
Take a listen to the complete album via the audio below. Oh, and spoiler alert…there’s even a cheeky little teaser right at the end…
Grab your copy of A Peck Of Dirt from their bandcamp site here and follow Fanny And The Atta Boys on:
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