From the Record Shelves #38

Many Happy Returns of the Day

CD Collector’s Classics COCD-17

The washboard not only became popular but also gave the name to groups in order to attract the record buyers during the depression in the beginning of the 30s. The instrument worked well in the studio as an alternative to snare drum or brushes accompaniment from a “real” drummer.

The bands could use very fast tempos sometimes, and we can not expect any masterpieces from their recorded output since they mostly delivered party music. Today’s record is however in my opinion a very positive surprise.

There is much to enjoy here. The light yet steady rhythm from the washboard, the sweet and hot trumpet, the well phrased alto sax intervention and above all the swinging vocal and the banjo picking behind it. The melody and the lyrics are not bad either. There is a New Orleans jazz feeling over this rendition and for once the Washboard Rhythm Kings gives us a nice intro and coda.