Growing up, breezy Saturday afternoons took a turn to Kooktown in my house thanks to a singular catalyst: Mungo Jerry’s early-70s AOR staple mongo hit, “In the Summertime.” My father had a slap-happy, one-legged, Rocky Balboa-esque boogie he would do as it played, as its irresistible blend of incendiary jug-band swagger surely wafted through my neighbors’ back porches and perhaps incited their own rhythmic compulsions. For his first solo project, Alexander Ebert – former lead of Ima Robot and current frontman for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – has whipped himself into a feel-good Technicolor dreamcoat frenzy of island-in-the-sun flavors and gypsy-folk meditations. Ebert, who recorded the album in his bedroom and performed all the sounds himself (including his mouth – just like Bobby McFerrin and Mungo Jerry, hey!), careens and sways between freewheelin’, knee-slappin’ folk-pop (“Let’s Win!” “In the Twilight”), tropical hoedowns (“Awake My Body,” “Truth”) and old-school, blue-eyed soul (“Bad Bad Love,” “Glimpses”) with the ease of a mad-hatted pied piper who knows how to busk and ball like a champion. Alexander smells and tastes like early summer, all the while basking in its plurality of spirit and influence, and gleefully skipping on down the merry primrose path to greener pastures, Costa Rica or maybe just Laurel Canyon. Seems like he could fit in anywhere, and probably does. (Community Music/Vagrant Records) –Carrie Alison

  1. love this personal memento of a review- colorful stuff!