Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2000 : 06 "Shake It 'N' Break It," by Baby Gramps

  While this album was released in 2000, I didn't actually hear Baby Gramps until about 2004 or 2005. I was in a party in the woods at an anarchist commune and some girl was pushing a shopping cart playing a really lo-fi folk song of the weirdest aspect I'd ever heard. His voice was gravelly, then rubber band stretching up to ridiculous heights, full of pauses and exclamations, some Anthology of American Folk Music from some pleasantly schizophrenic elf. I figured it was the woods and my stoned state that made it seem so odd. A few years later I found out it was actually much stranger and more wonderful than I thought.

Baby Gramps is idiosyncracy embodied. His guitar playing, demeanor, and vast range of vocal approaches are masterful, exciting, and imbued with hilarity. At his shows, crowd participation is mandatory and it's always fun to take a look at the rows of smiling folk of all ages. If Baby Gramps doesn't bring a smile to your face, there is something seriously wrong with you and I don't want to be your friend.

Chris Pollina

Listen: Baby Gramps >> "Shake It 'N' Break It"

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