You have to give a lot of credit to musicians who don’t want to be limited to just one genre. On the new album The Lexington Stretch, The Jorgensens accomplish that by playing songs that are some blend of jazz, blues, and soul.
The album begins with “If the Sea Was Whiskey”, a classic song that has also been recorded as “Diving Duck Blues.” The song sounds familiar – particularly if you’re a fan of blues. But if you really pay attention to it, you realize that this is unlike any version of the song you’ve heard previously. The biggest difference is that the only accompaniment to the vocals of the verses is an upright bass played by Andy Irvine. The only other instrumentation in the song is the trumpet part by Scott Snyder and the trombone played by Mike Haynes in the instrumental break. The limited instrumentation really allows you to focus on the great harmonizing by Kurt Jorgensen and Brianna Tagg-Jorgensen.
As you move through the album you can hear some Dixieland influence. Mostly this is due to Jeff King’s clarinet that you hear in songs like “Unchained” and “Storyville.” However, this isn’t the sort of swinging Dixieland that you can hear in the music of Pokey LaFarge. It is more of a Dixieland style that is suited for a dark jazz club that was filled with smoke once upon a time.
“Real Women” opens with some slide guitar and some blasts on the horns that make this seem like a song for a cabaret where the singer is perched on top of the piano and the band members are wearing suits and standing on an old-time bandstand. This song is an anthem for women everywhere – particularly when Tagg-Jorgensen sings “I don’t need no sugar daddy. Don’t need no greenback to make me happy.”
“Voo Doo” is another interesting song that will get your attention. According to the band, it is “a tale about love in the mysterious setting of Louisiana 150 years ago. The imagery that goes a long with Marie Laveau, Louisiana, and this time period made it exciting to produce.” The imagery is pretty strong particularly when you hear the lyrics “spirit forces coming from the bayou.” The mood of the song is fittingly dark and a little spooky.
This album certainly covers some ground in sound from jazz and blues to soul and in mood from muted to swinging. On top of all of that, you hear some great harmony vocals from the Jorgensens and the backing vocals by Katie Gearty, Sean Severson, and Fred Anderson. The Lexington Stretch will be available everywhere on September 13. Order your copy here.