An unguided tour guide down memory Lane, turn of the century style American folk. Played on banjo, kazoo, guitar, musical saw, and a collection of spittoons, frying pans and medicine bottles. Al’s vaudevillian songs are heaped in black wit, double entendre and clever word play about kleptomaniacs, Moonshiners, criminals, loners and even more shadowy figures. The music is a mix of old-timey, ragtime, sea shanty, Victorian parlour and jug band. Recorded on wax cylinders and other lo-fi devices, these songs were meant to be written between 1900 and 1930; he just never got around to it until now.
01 Bury Me In Shellac 3:04
02 Barstow Blues 2:53
03 Poppycock & Tommyrot 2:33
04 The Day Bartender 2:22
05 Mary Mack 2:30
06 Lesbians & Genitalmen 4:18
07 Tea With Lady Drake 3:13
08 The Abandoned Matinee 2:15
09 All Whistle And No Train 2:59
10 Squirrel Shucking Bee, Part One 3:20
11 The Maid Of The Marshes 2:59
12 Penny Champagne 2:16
13 The Dirty Half-Mile 3:12
14 Hildegard 3:01
15 After The Luau 4:06
|ALSO AVAILABLE from Al Duvall|
|FOLK IT UP|
"When listening to Al Duvall’s 2006 release ‘The Timid Mischief or Oh Anomia’ one thing becomes abundantly clear, the Vaudeville and Americana styles which can only be properly captured with the banjo of old are alive and well. Al’s a card shuffler on this record, he rolls through his songs, stacking the deck, serving drinks, and peppering the atmosphere with his own brand of old time undertones. It’s witty folk music with a snap, the equivalent of sipping off the last bottle of Kentucky bourbon. The originality of his sound in these modern times is a taste that should be acquired, and unlike Kentucky bourbon it leaves no bitter aftertaste. The lyrics have a wonderful twist of dark humor intermingled with the topics that take you from general observations to stories from the old days. Take the sixth track for example, ‘Labias & Genitalman’ he sings “…he chews on mothballs to purify his breath, She’s the lily of the valley of the shadow of death, I shall perform the aforementioned vice, Until hell freezes over, Then I’ll do it on ice…”. In fact his lyrics strike with all of the bravado of a Tom Waits album, but with a twinge of the old Vaudeville stage thrown in for good measure. The longer the album goes on you realize that you’re listening to something that is as rare treat as one can find in music today. A soothing, but potent mixture of old sounds and new ideas. His voice makes the most impact, a slick water voice that seems to croon to the heavens. No matter if he’s singing about grifting in Milwaukee or skinning squirrels, you’ll enjoy this album." - folkitup.
"Duvall’s not only one of New York’s best songwriters, he’s also one of the funniest. His stock in trade is antique music. Many of his ragtime songs, which he plays on the banjo, could be Edison cylinder hits from a hundred years ago. Like the oldtimey stuff he obviously loves, his songs are topical, steeped in history and imbued with an inimitable and sometimes scandalous wit." - Lucid Culture.
|MUSIC FOR MANIACS|
"Al Duvall is a contemporary New Yorker with the soul of an old time American snake-oil salesmen, a P.T. Barnum of bad puns, black humor and banjo pickin'. He's the Tom Lehrer of bluegrass, cheerfully singing surreal lyrics unpredictably capable of eliciting gasps of astonished laughter." - Music For Maniacs