Petunia and the Vipers – s/t debut LP
Petunia and the Vipers
Sometimes Vancouverite, fulltime yodellin’ cowboy Petunia often presents, live and on past CDs, as offering a stripped-down take on roots music, dark and lonely as a telephone pole on a stretch of highway with no streetlights, with the obvious musical references being to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. His new LP – his first full-length to come out on vinyl (with bonus tracks on the CD) – blows away these preconceptions and vastly expands his domain, with energetic rockabilly rave-ups (“Maybe Baby Amy,” replete with Jerry Lee Lewis yelps) and lush, complex arrangements (with lapsteel guitar, horns, kazoo, piano, horns, and deft drumwork by Marc L’Esperance). There’s also a couple of absolutely fantastic bits of songwriting in evidence – like “Mercy,” which yokes a swingin’, revival-tent atmosphere to half-growled lyrics about guilt, sin, redemption, and gambling, which Petunia delivers with a vocal fire and fury previously unheard on his solo CDs. Impressive stuff – this may well be the Vancouver roots music release of the year.
Reprinted with permission of the author.