Songs like the Dixieland-ish “Old Man Cabbage” and “You Gotta Sell Something,” the latter delivered with a vaudevillian pitchman’s zeal, and the raucous “Hookers on the Rag” recall the kind of old-timey hot jazz that Squirrel Nut Zippers traffics in. Other tunes like the spirited “Passed Around” sounds like Dr. John’s take on “Good Night Irene” while the horn-driven “Passed Around” may trigger memories of Little Feat. Expect Crimmins to also resurrect some tunes from his humorously tongue-in-cheek 2016 album, Sing-a-Longs. Get ready to party like it’s 1929!
Atlanta-based songwriter-multi-instrumentalist (he plays piano, guitar, ukulele and accordion) Blair Crimmins has been on a mission to bring Ragtime and 1920s style Dixieland Jazz to new audiences. As charismatic frontman for The Hookers, he has been creating a sound that is both unique and inspired by the past. The group’s eclectic fourth studio album, 2017’s You Gotta Sell Something, blends elements of Dr. John with Randy Newman and touches of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and southern gospel. As Creative Loafing magazine noted: “The sound evokes the hot jazz, ragtime and blues of the 1920s. Still a rocker at heart, Crimmins’ marriage of these distinct musical worlds wound up creating a timeless niche.”