The Lazybirds’ new album, the two-disc Time Machine, makes you immediately suspect that the members of this band are anything but lazy. That’s because Jay Brown (guitar), James T. Browne (drums and vocals), Mitchell Johnston (standup bass and vocals), and Alfred Michels (fiddle and guitar), hailing from North Carolina, clearly demonstrate a quality in the instrumentation that must come after a lot of practice. Their rock and roll, blues, folk, country-tinged tracks are all entertaining. A number of them just might brighten your day by inspiring an impromptu dance session thanks to their toe-tapping beats.
One of the things that comes to mind while listening to this album’s first disc is the high school prom Marty McFly’s parents attended in Back to the Future, “Enchantment Under the Sea” (which featured Marvin Berry & The Starlighters)—without, perhaps, the electric guitar solo at the end of the act that stopped the show (and not for the right reasons).
Back in the real world, most of the 14 tracks on Time Machine’s first disc would be well used at such an event, proving that Lazybirds really is a classic American band. Their press release underlines “their down to earth style, reverence for the roots, stellar harmonies, and seasoned chops” that “carry on the tradition of unpretentious, good time music”.
The album kicks off with five really high energy tracks, from the upbeat folk rock (with a tinge of country) opening number “Mindin’ My Own Business” to the sing- and clap-along country-tinged “Way Out There”. The classic rock and roll beat in “Singin’ The Blues” feels like the song that will make everyone hit the dance floor. The more reserved “Half the Problem” will keep hardcore dancers on it, but allow those who are tired or need a drink to take some time off. “Choo Choo Cha Boogie” brings the harmonica to the forefront.
The next four tracks, while still at the very least mid-tempo and toe-tapping worthy, mark a definite reduction in energy compared to the first part of the disc, be it the upright bass-led “Hobo’s Lullaby”—a track strongly supported by a grouping of harmonicas—or the sparser yet energetic drum-led “Chair Dancin’ Girl”. The band continues playing with the tempos, what with the faster beat in the guitar-led, rollicking “Soulful Song” and the more restrained harmonica- and drum-led “In The Pines”.
While not as energetic as the first third of the disc, the next three tracks will still make many toes tap. Russians seem to not need as slow of a beat to fall asleep if “Russian Lullaby” is to be believed. Brushed drum- and electric guitar-led, there is a lounge worthy smokiness to this harmonica-supported track. The party winds down with the almost surprisingly mellow “Be Careful”, ending on a relaxed yet energetic note with the short, piano-led “Sit Right Down”.
The second disc is more consistently upbeat with a definitely stronger country feel throughout. It also includes a few covers, such as “Maybellene” and “Jailhouse Rock”, and makes for a second set of toe-tapping songs, many of which may be comforting to those yearning for simpler times. The band was formed in 1996 and it looks like they are still going on strong. Here’s hoping that they will continue doing so. More information about the band and its work is available on their official website and on their Facebook page. A handful of tracks are available on their YouTube channel.
Pictures provided by Working Brilliantly.