Between bands like Postmodern Jukebox and the Vagaband, vaudeville has been seeing itself something of a miniature revolution in modern times. The cirque, merrymaking style of the music makers, full of all sorts of accordion and sax, violin and cello, contrabass, cimbalom, and beyond, is a historically amusing performance style that, astoundingly, hasn’t caught on much among modern music makers as it arguably should. Ben Caplan gratefully steps onto the scene, somewhere between the all-covers Jukebox and more introverted Vagaband to deliver an authentic roots experience set more within the realm of vocal entertainment. Wherein most renowned folk singer-songwriters are low-key wallflowers, Caplan comes onto the scene with all of the brooding sentiment of 10 billion roaring lions and their horn ensemble. Whether you’re into that showboating, more burlesque scene will dictate whether you enjoy Birds on Broken Wings or abhor it, but one thing is for sure – Caplan’s got style.
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