Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires and their latest offering If I Walked On Water will have many a critic scratching their head. Imagine if the lyrics of Bob Dylan were to meet up with the musical sophistication of say a Duke Ellington it may the equivalent of Austin City Limits meets N.P.R. Organic, eclectic and with a sly sense of humor If I Walked On Water is a minimalist view of early folk music with the vibrant New Orleans influenced tossed in for flavor but with the jazz sensibilities of a Duke Ellington type band with some entertaining compositions. One of the better roots music release to come along in some time.
Raw. Minimalist yet deep rooted in the heart and soul of American music finds Ted Hefko blazing his own musical train and with the freedom to set out on a musical road less traveled but incredibly entertaining. Hefko holds down the lead vocals, sax, clarinet and acoustic guitar and the influences guiding this release would appear to be many. Dylan, Ellington, and Dr. John seem to sneak in and out of the varied compositions of this disc and this is where and why the release works so well. Hefko may be a master at doing a riff on another great artist yet managing to keep his own original voice in the final mix. Bad songs? None...Entertaining songs? All 9 tunes offer something, an eclectic masterpiece of American roots music and its very best.
"If I Walked On Water: and "It's Cold In Here" are perhaps two of the better tunes on this recording but if your thing is non commercia roots music played by real musicians with no redubs or self indulgent prattle combined with d.o.c (death by compression via post production) then this may well be a nice investment. Words like "organic" and "eclectic" are sometimes used by writers to the point where the lose most if not all of their meaning. Ted Hefko is simply good old fashioned entertainment presented with the frills and electronic crutches seen and heard far to often heard is the more commercially oriented jazz of today.
A sonic breath of fresh air, entertaining and a nice slice of Americana roots music without every coming close to the self indulgent pitfalls more common today by most artists. A winner!
Tracks: If I Walked On Water; It's Cold In Here; You've Gotta Take Steps; Color Me Blue; Greyhound Coach; Thrust My Gut; This Song Won't Sound The Same; Get On The Train And Ride; You Took Away the Best Part,
Personnel: Ted Hefko: vocals, sax, clarinet, acoustic guitar; Satoru Chashi: trumpet, valve trombone; Luca Benedetti: lead and rhythm guitar; Scott Ritchie: upright bass; Moses Patrou: drums, percussion, piano and backing vocals; Billy Blends; hammond organ; Neil Thomas: accordian.
Special Thanks to Jim Eigo and Jazz Promo Services!