Red River Delirium
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When you come across a band with a name like Austin’s Mr. Lewis & The Funeral 5 and said band makes an elpee with a name like Delirium Tremendous, it’s a pretty easy guess that yer in for some spooky-ooky fun. The name “Funeral 5” is a tip of the fedora to the New Orleans Jazz Funeral tradition (to the unfamiliar, I strongly recommend the excellent HBO series Treme) and their bandleader, Mr. Lewis, sings deep from his belly about sleeping beneath bridges as they burn, finding love (amongst other things) on the highway, and other abstract weirdness.
Mr. Greg Lewis carries a little less gravel in his throat than Mr. Tom Waits or Mr. Honus Honus of Man Man and doesn’t flutter to quite the literary heights as Mr. Nick Cave, but listen half-closely and you can hear the influences. This record they’ve made, it’s a delight. The Funeral 5’s horn section swings between funeral jazz and Mexicali brass, and comes out blasting wildly on the opening track “Gospel For The Gutter.” But the best of this excellent bunch is “Walking Into a Clothesline.” Mr. Lewis guides you along with a slinky graveyard rhythm that is deliciously accented by church bells and an unexpected blast of mariachi horns that throws the song into an entirely different dimension. Look this up, folks, it’s worth yer time.