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The Claudettes

Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED!

(Yellow Dog; US: 1 Oct 2013; UK: 1 Oct 2013)

Greasy Keyboard-Based Barrelhouse Blues

No, the Claudettes are not named after the Roy Orbison-penned Everly Brothers hit, but I doubt if either of those acts would mind. The hard pounding piano and drums duo of Johnny Iguana and Michael Caskey come from the bar and grill where they were the house band. They even took the bar owner, Miss Claudette, out on the road with them to entertain the audience with her beer and food special patter and performance. The debut disc, Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED!, features greasy keyboard-based barrelhouse blues with a side of heavy beat that evokes early Chicago R&B rock in a good way.

The music makes you jump and dance. I can understand why the original place Claudette ran closed because it’s impossible to eat while listening. You might as well not even bring out the menu, just shots and beers. Songs such as the title track bounce rather than just move. The ride that the piano and drums take listeners on can be a little too fast and even a little scary, but that’s just part of the dangerous thrill. This ain’t Claudette Colbert playing Cleopatra; it’s more like Cleopatra playing with her asp!


Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.

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