Drunken Catfish Ramblers
The Drunken Catfish Ramblers are, at their core, a street band. Although young in years, they have a lifetime of collective experience playing the streets of the world, not to mention the stages of the Montreal and New Orleans Jazz Fests, Merlefest and more. They started years ago as a freight-hopping bunch of travelers swapping songs, bottles and stories as they made their way east from California. But New Orleans was destined to play host to their signature sound. Their sets comprise a cross section of the best of American vernacular music, from delta blues to Appalachian stomps to early jazz and popular songs. The guitar and vocal interplay between Greg Sherman and “Stalebread” Scottie Swears can be as sweet as cider or cut like the dozens. Backed by the hypnotic drive of R.C.’s Hampton’s washboard and the jug-based style of Robert Ayo’s tuba, it’s a potent combination. Mr. Gunn’s accompaniment provides solid counterpoint, ragging and syncopating the lines with uncommon ease or laying down the melody line with uncanny accuracy. They treat every song like a mint condition 78, and so it’s no surprise that they sound like it too.