The tango. Doubles tennis. Making a thing go right. Two can be just about perfect for any number of things. For instance, as dastardly duo Viva Voce, Kevin & Anita Robinson proved you only need two to make some pretty fantastic music. But the Alabama transplants aren’t resting on their twosome laurels. Oh no. They’ve decided to try expansion on for size, in their new band Blue Giant. And I think you’ll find, as I did, that sometimes, in music as in other things, bigger can sometimes be pretty darn good.
In Viva Voce, Mr. & Mrs. Robinson created gorgeously sung, gorgeously played songs. In Blue Giant, guess what? There’s more of the same. However, the songs feel fuller, more expansive, and just plain bigger than you might have expected. The overall feel is much the same, country meets folk meets sunshiney West Coast pop, but it’s not merely Viva Voce with extra members.
There’s a whole lot to love about the self-titled Blue Giant release. “Blue Sunshine” is a perfect summer song, banjo playing backup to a fantastic guitar and giving Kevin a chance to show off his full-bodied vocal tones. “Target Heart” is a perfect little honky-tong lovesick song, with beautifully lovelorn lyrics and what sounds like an old-time player piano adding to the song’s charm.
“When Will The Sun Shine” sounds a lot like a Viva Voce song, with Kevin & Anita sharing much of the vocal duties and featuring strong guitar play. And Anita’s voice is positively haunting in the stark, slowed down mid-section of the song. “Run Rabbit Run” is another one that got my attention. It’s got more banjo, which is never a bad thing if you ask me. The lively tambourine adds that extra jangle that gets my blood really pumping. The mournfulness of “Gone For Good” is aided by the strong, winsome vocals of Corin Tucker, and the wail of the steel gives the song added heartbreak.
Fellow fans of Viva Voce, rejoice. If you’ve been missing the family Robinson, this is your lucky day. I probably still lean a bit more towards Viva Voce, but Blue Giant is a welcome addition to the Robinsonian oeuvre.
mp3: Blue Sunshine (Blue Giant from Blue Giant)