melvern taylor and his fabulous meltones

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I’ve invented a new genre: lounge lizard country. Imagine a guy just this side of greasy, wearing a suit with sweat stains where stains shouldn’t be. His tie’s askew. He’s gripping the microphone when he’s not making chords on the ukelele, and he meets your eyes frantically (but his bandmates never look up). The dark red velvet of the half-empty hotel room reflects very badly on his skin. After the set, you buy him a drink and he confides that his wife left him and he’s living in his car.

This is no aspersion on Melvern Taylor, who wrote me a really nice email (note: flattery will get you everywhere). He calls his music “ukelele noir,” happy songs about sad people. And I’m sure in person that he and his band are not greasy at all. His sound — heavy on the 50s influence, heavy on the uke (of course), and heavy on the standard lyric (“i won’t mind it if you break my stupid heart / because I’ve got no place else to go”) — is an intriguing gestalt. These elements combined make up a music with more variety than should be there; it both is, and isn’t, a type of music I hear every day. An interesting conundrum (and perhaps completely unintended by the band. Oh well. Heh.)! I shall have to listen further; though there are vague plans hinted at on the website, the band’s latest album is 2006’s “Fabuloso.” Please cogitate along with me and let me know what you think.

Melvern Taylor and His Fabulous Meltones — Site | Myspace

[ ed note — tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

Melvern Taylor and His Fabulous Meltones — Angel On My Shoulder

Melvern Taylor and His Fabulous Meltones — Sad And Blue