‘Money Isn’t Everything’ from Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra(November 14, 2012)
New Orleans-influenced style, overlaid with a toe-tapping groove, some Eastern vigour, a touch of scat vocals, rampant eclecticism and more than a little attitude – that’s ‘Money Isn’t Everything’ from Rob Heron and The Teapad Orchestra. This is exotic yet home-grown ‘musical jumping and leaping’ from Newcastle. That’s not Newcastle in America or even the Blue Mountains of Jamaica but Newcastle in the UK, complete with an eclectic musical essence that raises images of America’s Southern edge, Jamaica’s fervent pulse and a nod to Portuguese passion.
From their driving version of ‘Danse de la Limonade’ complete with its Creole exhortations through the languid observations of ‘Money Isn’t Everything’ to the cautionary observations of ‘Quaich Keeper’s Blues’ this album demands you take notice. There’s the balmy, enveloping nonchalance of songs such as ‘Steamboat Blues’ complete with innuendo to a cynical swipe at our current fascination with financial ruin in ‘Bank Failures’, complete with yodelling chorus.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly reviewed on a ‘folk’ site ‘Money Isn’t Everything’ lays tenuously at home across its diverse range of styles yet at the same time refuses to sit easily within a single one. So forget the definitions. The point is this – if you like your music full of energy, as laid back as it comes and thoroughly engaging then this could hit the spot. If your ears enjoy a mix of punchy lead vocals, accordion revels, snappy percussion and string-driven scintillation you’ll be right at home with Rob and the boys.
Reviewer: Dan Holland