The disc opens with the up tempo and earthy track called, "Urn St. Tavern," which evokes pictures of patrons having a good time. The spirited “Swing Sagarese” has a distinctively Italian feel for its tarantella rhythm and clipped musical phrases. That track is followed by the quizzical tune called "The Absinthe-Minded Gypsy." It's an enjoyable character study featuring tuba players Pinca Cantea and Gutzel Trifan. It's a well-crafted song that features Raso on banjo in a bright and clever solo. "Quatro Cicci" has a strong Mexican feel to it, a la the Tijuana Brass, but its catchy phrases are also clever hooks. It runs 2:40 and showcases the band, but more importantly it also demonstrates Raso's flamenco technique. It's a great tune. At the beginning of "Charlatan's Waltz," Raso instructs his band to "play like Charlatans" and they quickly comply. This track features the rhythm section plus accordion, handclaps and Raso's multi-track guitar. It's a nice complement to the larger ensemble.The title track is the perfect hybrid mix of surf punk, Tex-Mex and Balkan dance music. Its bright refrain is the perfect antidote to a cold winter's day.
|Adrian Raso (Photo by Dave Carter)|
The album closes with the gentile "Bireli's Waltz" which is a welcome contrast to what came before it. But track 12 is an up-tempo encore called "Django,"inspired by the musical spirit of Django Reinhardt. It incorporates some Peer Gynt music into the mix and ends quickly. My first response? Press play again!
Devil's Tale was released January 17th, worldwide. An animated video of "Urn St. Tavern" was released on YouTube.