Dave’s Music #129 The Dangling Participles – One More Drop

FARM introduced many artists to me, including this eclectic band called The Dangling Participles.  When I checked their site, oh my I thought I can’t review a band that was started by three degreed English language instructors.  Yet here I am with a chance to give you a taste of a brand new album by this fresh group.  So if I would say, “Sitting in the audience, The Dangling Participle duo wowed with an eclectic mix”  That would be a dangling participle and incorrect,  it should have been “Sitting in the audience, I was wowed by The Dangling Participle duo eclectic mix”  Now thinking about this further, I just might have my wife proof read the blog post before they see it.  Ha.

I did see just the duo of Tamiko Rothhorn & Austin Kaufmann who are the main writers and the lead singers of the 4-piece group, but all four contribute vocals on the album.  They are self-described with “Song set ranging from folk and Americana to Latin jazz and bluesand funny it was when Tamiko picked up the brass in the showcase when I noted this group is different.  They are included in this clip video starting at 2:33 (if I did this right that’s where this will start with the same song that opens the cd) 

1) Where It Gets Exciting

Right out of the blocks this song will get you swaying along and singing “Oh, Oh, Oh”  Their website and Bandcamp pages give you access to the lyrics and a brief note on the inspiration for the song.  This one shows their true diversity of backgrounds: 

This song was inspired by two quotes:
“Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble.”  -John Lewis

If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”  -David Bowie

“Speak up, speak out, get in the way,
Speak truth to power. Don’t turn away.
Whether up on a stage, or in a bubble,
Don’t go pickin’ fights, but get in good trouble.”– Austin Kaufmann

Ok, I know this is where they’ve already found three grammar errors in the blog, but I venture on noting that only ONE English Major still exists in the group (Austin) and the other two will likely be ok with my style of writing.

2) Poetry in a Bottle

Tamiko brings us this song after a trip to France. It has vintage cabaret groove that settles you down outside in a little cafe in Beaune France with a glass of the finest burgundy.

You may choose to blend fermented flavors in a rhyme
Or let the essence age and build complexity through time.
I note a hint of honey and some Burgundy sunshine.
Your words, uncorked, I’ll savor like the finest Grand Cru wine.

I’ll pause here while you fill up your cup.

3) One More Drop 

The title track grabs me like it’s Chicago meets Peter Paul & Mary; a bouncy sing along chorus, great harmonies and brass arrangements.  I loved the “Firewall” reference connecting the modern digital world since I read the lyric was inspired by the great Ray Bradbury, though firewalls had meaning before computers too.  This song will always stand out as an eclectic sound in my future playlists because it’s unique and rare that I add a lot of music with brass.  Definitely has a great groove, and here you get a chance to see the group in the studio:

This is also a great time to pause and reflect on the generosity of people.  During their Kickstarter campaign two people paid for the incredible services of R Black to create the cover and inside art.  He incorporated three songs into the cover, “One Drop”, “Moon Garden”, and “Swimming in Lake Superior” Per the site he’s only done concert posters for:
“Elvis Costello, BB King, The Black Keys, Pat Benetar, The Go Go’s, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Chemical Romance, Dropkick Murphys, the San Diego Opera, and many more. “

4) Widen the Circle

This one starts of with a tasteful electric lick that would fit into a good Bossa Nova mix, Austin carries it into a nice solo too.  So I saw this duo at a Folk Alliance?  Ha, yes a big WIDE umbrella.  As the song lyrics go:

Widen the circle, open the doors.
The place is crowding, but there’s still room for more.

5) Moon Garden 

Tamiko sets the mood on the ukulele with a guest clarinet introducing this shuffle.  FARM had so much music after my bedtime, and I stayed up for it.  This duo bloomed at night; believe me.

Like two, two flowers in a moon garden,
Two flowers blooming in the dark.

6) History and Me

I did hear this song shared at FARM, it’s a wonderful slow healing song; and it was described:

Tamiko was gifted a shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese lute) that had once belonged to her great-grandmother, and this songs tells the story of how that instrument helped her connect with her heritage. Continuing the tradition of passing music from generation to generation, Tamiko invited her two daughters, Kata and Mori, to be a part of this recording, with backing vocals and violin, respectively.

7) 11 Time Zones

Austin wrote this duet while in Seoul and watching so many military people separated from their girlfriends or spouses; so much energy in Tamiko & Austin’s back and forth and the powerful chorus.  Loved how they used Jacksonville reference, because I have a Sister-in-Law living there and I know it’s heavily populated with military people.

8) Brave Enough

Beside me being brave enough to write a blog read by an English major, this song was inspired by the writing of a professor and lecturer Brene Brown.  Geez the last book I read was in 1993 Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park”  (reading puts me to sleep, music is my life)

9) Swimming in Lake Superior

Since I love that lake, I was really curious about this song.  A song much more gentle than the great lake, it is a co-write with Austin and his daughter with great imagery.  Plus, we find out the words that rhyme with superior; inferior & wearier.

10) Everyone Here Knows the Music 

The song has a great guitar picking tempo that probably came from the American Roots Festival that was Austin’s inspiration.   Definitely festivals are where musicians gather and the audience singing is incredible, kind of like church when local choirs gather to an event.  Austin captures the sound and the people perfectly.

But there’s some folks I know, wIth whom I feel at home,
And their music soothes my soul.
This band of misfit angels keeps lookin’ after me.
We ain’t a church, but we’re church enough for me, for me, for me…
Church enough for me.

Everyone here knows the music
Everyone here has paid their dues.
Everyone understands harmony,
And everyone here has known the blues

11) Patron Saint of Lost Things

Written by weaving true events into this beautiful ballad for a wedding party and a lost wedding ring.

12)  I Don’t Know How Long

I know I’ve said it before but I need to create a Pandemic playlist, and this one is classic with logging in home schoolers into their devices, muting the mics, kids screaming, and folding laundry during a business meeting.  They played this song at FARM, I was excited to see it on the album.

Because the group does not have many or any YouTube audio videos out there for this record, your one click playlist will be from Bandcamp.  Oh, Oh, Oh, I noted it starts at the third and title track so I’m not sure if at the end it’ll go back to track one.  Now I’m posting this originally on Thursday Nov 3rd and #BandcampFriday is tomorrow; why don’t you just consider this one for your buys today.

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