David Serby is already a ‘sore thumb’ in the Americana scene – hard to believe that this vigourous type only now crosses from sunny California on our way, not even with his previous albums, such as “Poor Man’s Poem” or “Honkytonk And Vine “…
The fact that the guy on verbal wit and eloquence – both highly desirable virtues for a singer / songwriter – has, proves Serby with the tongue in cheek titling, he and his band were the ‘latest scam’ [the latest scam]. We have suspected it, Mr. Serby – at least since the Great Rock’n'Roll Swindle …
“David Serby And The Latest Scam” especially shines Serbys eloquent art of telling short stories. Compressed episodes that illustrate his analytical sense of observation as well as his sharp tongue, full of empathy for each described environment, full of humanity and lived a with a good dose of self-irony spiked humor. It is a pleasure to listen to this singer / songwriter attention.
Musically David Serby And The Latest Scam flawless Americana, between languid country ballads and earthy Rock’n'Rollern (very-old-school) settled as antipodes. Times folk of the sixties and the rich power-pop of the seventies scattered – in between – depending on the mood of the protagonist.
The twenty original songs would have fit easily on a disk. The fact that Selby has a breakdown of the songs on two CDs decided, must have conceptual reasons that have not opened up to me, however. A booklet with all lyrics have here can help, but that is – not enclosed with the simple gatefold cover – safe for cost reasons. It’s still a shame that such exquisite music is no corresponding label, itself must be sold!
It is striking in terms of the concept in question, that the songs on Disc 1 ‘Old School’ are much more pronounced. Here you can meet American Rock’n'Roll on British Beat – Hound Dog , “Oh Boy” and ( Buddy Holly ) on Do Wah Diddy Diddy . The floor-rocker “Waiting Out The Storm”, “Those Is not My Dreams” and “Pharaohs” like this best. The hilariously funny “You’re Bored” (beautiful artificial sitar) and the great love-yearning “I’ll Meet You There” entice contrast to Spontanfönen a great lard, of course with an extra dose of pomade.
The second CD reveals contrast rather Serbys ‘soft’, folk-oriented page. The on Simon & Garfunkel reminiscent “I Still Miss You” this conveys as well as the melancholy ballad “Better With My Hands” (great pedal steel). Also, the country is indulged in proper style in “Everybody Loves A Fool” and “Gospel Truth”. The in wild CCR abrockenden-style “Tumbleweed Blacktop Blues” and “Like She Was Never Here” to speak to me personally at the most.
What is noticeable in all twenty songs the extremely tight corset – most are only a little more than two minutes. Everything seems to have been compressed to the point. This circumstance makes “David Serby And The Latest Scam” highly enjoyable, while quite tense, without exuberant ‘lengths’ flow.
Music for the heart and mind alike is David Serby succeeded here – sound art, the pleasing apart from the usual Americana-Allerlei . Two really nice slice …
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