The Rizdales
"Bar And Lounge"
by Johanna J. Bodde

THE RIZDALES   "Bar And Lounge"    (WillyBoy Recordings)

There is a town called London in Canadian Ontario, of course they make music there too, and how! Just listen to The Rizdales... Behind that name are hiding singer/guitarplayer Tom Dunphy and his wife Tara, who also sings, plays fiddle and flute; together they wrote all the songs for their second album. Will Haas (upright bass) and Tim Vail (drums, percussion) form the rhythm section, while guest-musician Tony Nardi adds electric guitar, pedalsteel and banjo. The band produces a sound which can best be described as an alternative version of classic honkytonk country from the fifties and sixties. Bassplayer Will listened very well to The Tennessee Three, the band of Johnny Cash, for instance, but the influences of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe are also noticeable in the music. They play fluently and professionally, typical of a band that has already won its spurs by performing in countless bars and lounges. For the voice of Tom Dunphy I would like to borrow an expression from my former collegue at the paper: alderbarstends mooi!! (That meant something like extra extremely beautiful.) In the golden years of Nashville, singers had that kind of voice: with a warm timbre and a sob. Tara sings less striking but still beautiful and their vocals blend perfectly together, the comparison with George Jones & Tammy Wynette or Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn is obvious. The theme of all tracks is "Love", an inexhaustible subject but yet approached here in a refreshing way with all kinds of ingenious phrases and ideas. Top performances are: "You'd Almost Think I'm In Love", "Sadder Than You Know" and unmistakable "A Little Voodoo"! A striking surprise out of that other London.
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, translated by Yvonne Bohm. Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.