Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band return next Tuesday with the group’s third full length studio release. Lishy Lou and Lucky Too! The L.A. based five-piece’s new album comes only months after the release of its first ever EP, fantastico! It is yet another fun and original release from Lucky and company. Even more, it serves as more proof of what makes children’s albums just as viable as “grown-up” albums if not more so. That is primarily because much like so many other children’s acts, the band has managed to come up with a new sound on each of its albums so far. Even its sole EP bears a style and sound different from its previous pair of full length releases. It has continued that tradition with this album, too opting for something unlike any other children’s or grown-up act.
Lishy Lou and Lucky Too! Is nothing like fantastico! or its previous full length releases. This time, the band takes listeners of all ages way back in time. It goes back to the golden days of broadcasting when radio was the only means of broadcast entertainment for audiences. It does this with its own family friendly “radio comedy.” For those that perhaps might not know, the days of radio broadcasting “saw” some of the greatest ever programming make its debut. And the “show” put on by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is just as entertaining as any original family friendly radio show put on during that great era. It might be a bit of a stretch, but the closest comparison that can be made in this era is perhaps to that of PRI’s (Public Radio International) “A Prairie Home Companion.” Those that are familiar with that landmark radio show are welcome to debate that comparison. That’s just the view of this critic. Perhaps for those that are not so familiar with the work of Garrison Keillor and company, maybe this review will be the catalyst to get said individuals interested not just in this new album, but also in “A Prairie Home Companion” and other public radio programs.
The overall presentation of Lishy Lou and Lucky Too! is wonderful fun for the entire family. The jokes are groaners, obviously. That’s not a bad thing. Any grownup that allows themselves to do so will find them such groaners that they’ll laugh at them, much like those told by Svengoolie’s rubber chicken friend, Kerwyn (BERWYN!). Any Me-TV fans will get that reference. The jokes aren’t all that audiences will appreciate in this new record. The introduction of new characters Pockets, Time Travelling Tina, Milt, Alistair, and Chantal is a great touch to the record. New friend Pockets is a wonderful throwback to the late great Harpo Marx. He only talks through sound. And his skits are among the funniest on the entire album. Parents and children alike will love how he gets tricked into introducing a song all about him after having just gotten into a little argument with Alistair. It would be a surprise if this moment doesn’t leave listeners of all ages laughing to some extent.
Lucky and company offer listeners of all ages so much enjoyment throughout the course of the band’s new album. It pays homage to old time radio with its overall presentation. This is wholly original and more than deserving of praise. It’s nice to see someone trying to develop a starting point to get today’s audiences interested in broadcasting’s golden era. This critic challenges anyone to find another act—children’s or otherwise—that has done what Lucky Diaz and company have done here. Of course for the homage paid to classic radio on this record, the band also pays tribute to the golden days of film, too. It does this through the inclusion of its own acoustic take on Meredith Wilson’s ‘Till There Was You.’ The gentle acoustic guitar set against the song’s vocals and the harmonica part will bring back fond memories of the Morton DaCosta directed 1962 classic, The Music Man. It is played with the same gentility as when it was sung between Marian (Shirley Jones) and Professor Hill (Robert Preston) as they stood on that bridge under the moonlight. For all of the funny moments offered to audiences throughout this record, this one moment stands out like a shining beacon unlike anything else included in its sequencing. And it makes the rest of the record that much better. For that matter, it makes one wonder what a full album of jazz covers would sound like form Lucky and company. Yes, that’s a hint to Lucky and company should they read this critic’s review.
Lishy Loud and Lucky Too! has so much heart and so much substance to listeners, as one should be able to tell at this point. Whether one is familiar with the band or not, this is still a solid record from beginning to end. Its skits are wholly entertaining. Its cover of a jazz classic adds even more heart to the album. And with any luck, because of the overall presentation, it could even serve as a starting point to get listeners of any age interested in classic radio and the history of radio entertainment in general. So much more could likely be noted of this album. But that would entail aimless rambling for days. Keeping that in mind, the album will be available next Tuesday, October 1st. It can be ordered direct from the band’s website at http://luckydiazmusic.com/merchandise/lishy-lou-and-lucky-too-by-lucky-diaz-and-the-family-jam-band. More information on this and all of the band’s albums is available online at http://luckydiazmusic.com, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967, and http://twitter.com/Lucky_Diaz.
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