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Pete Krebs/Danny Barnes

Pete Krebs/Danny Barnes

Duet for Clarinet and Goat (Cavity Search)
by Jamie Kiffel

Half a Marlboro reeks beside a plate of brown-gray gravy and two-pound biscuits, while the tow-headed kids yell their heads off at each other, and somebody's strumming away outside on a banged-up banjo, ogling the bleached-blonde, denimed-up Texan girls riding by in their Thunderbirds. It sounds countrified and pleasant enough until you listen harder to them thar ly-rics. That's words, son... Real American words. Pete Krebs and Danny Barnes sound like the Country Bear Jamboree on a drunk, and it ain't a-t'all bad.

"Lahked his taters... usedta eat spah-ders when he was a little boy..." Krebs sings on "Worry 'Bout Yesterday," a slow, Southern shuffle about a Jesus freak who doesn't mind that "my pappy don't call me Son." Something throughout these tracks smells of chicken-fried steak and in-breeding. Drawling banjos with traditional twangy tunes butt against the backbeat of "Aw Fuck It," a fine anthem for anyone. Anyone who wakes up cotton-mouthed and contemplating his foul place on the crotch of this planet while scratching through his egg-stained undershirt and baggy BVDs, and keeps grits and a shotgun in the same closet, that is.

The album is full of must-hear moments, such as: "Uh, Baby, tell me sumpthin. Where're my pants? And who was that strange man in the bathroom this morning? And why does the dog have a bandage on his... on his... you know... you know what?"

Like a visitor to Texas, the listener has to wonder just how much was intended to be funny. A phone message from Danny's mom, followed by a deeply ominous organ chord and then the traditional gospel, "Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling... calling to take you away" is worth a downright guffaw.

Jeez-o-petes, more than a few of these crazy, down-South songs here might even bring a tear to yore eye. But these here boys are twisted and strange, and ah wouldn't leave 'em alone with mah banjo fer long fer fear of whut they maht do t' the dawg with it.
(PO Box 42246 Portland, OR 97242)
 


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