The Vaudevillian is Jitterbug James (vocals/guitar/carzoobamaphone), Piedmont Johnson (vocals/bull fiddle) and Norah Spades (vocals/kazoo/ washboard) and they hail from Hamilton. As the name suggests, they recreate their own vaudeville or medicine show, right out of the twenties or even earlier. Brendan Stephens, as Jitterbug James, writes the original material and handles the lead vocals. He does all these things very well, his fast vibrato sounding very appropriate on this material. It would appear that a CD does little justice to their live show, players having this much fun should seen, not just heard. With traditional songs like the Cannon’s Jug Stompers’ “Going To German”, “He’s In The Jailhouse Now”, Bo Carter’s “Bootlegger’s Blues”, “The Banjo Blues” and “The Dry Bone Shuffle” you get an idea of the repertoire. Stephens’ originals are very much in this style, with “Broom Shooter”, “Montreal To Memphis”, and “Sailin’ Away” early highlights. In “Montreal To Memphis” he’s chasing his girl, played by Norah. “Bringing Satan Down” features a rude noise, possibly played on that carzoobamaphone, in a hilarious tale of his latest attempt to stop drinking. Their web site is www.bustedflatrecords.com/ artists/vaudevillian.

John’s Blues Picks January 2016 – Debra Power
John's Blues Picks January 2016 - Mike Goudreau & The Boppin’ Blues Band