Miss Alexandra Huntingdon and the Gentleman's Intermission’s recent release LIVE at Survival Kit isn’t a genre we typically cover here at The Equal Ground. Perhaps it’s because not many artists are combing jazz, blues and dixieland with vaudeville-style show tunes that you can imagine being played at a Las Vegas lounge at one o'clock in the morning.
LIVE at Survival Kit is indeed live but sounds great from an aesthetic perspective and actually adds to your enjoyment of the album. The crowd cheers, laughs and encourages Huntingdon as she exaggerates her voice (sometimes comedically) and commands the stage. It doesn’t take much to realize that these songs are all about the vocals. Huntingdon does indeed have a good voice, which is quite versatile. She sounds like a soul sister on “Sugar Mama Blues” but then sounds as if she mimicking the lead actress in the Broadway play the critics described as a “laugh riot” on “On The Shores of the Great Lake Erie.”
Since Huntingdon does have a commanding voice no matter style she decides to go after it’s easy to glance past the music. The music is quite good and the band is always in the pocket and on point. For those of you familiar with this style of music it won’t surprise you that the piano is the main melody maker that supports the vocals.
Since this is a live show I recommend just grabbing a cocktail, popping a squat and pressing play. Huntingdon takes on various topics on her songs that she usually announces before the song starts. One of the highlights “Sugar Mama Blues” revolves around dating “broke-ass boys.” She sings “You know that I'll be your Sugar Mama, if you bring sweetness back to me Yeah but, when I come home baby, you just sit in front of that TV.”
Another song entitled “One of Those Men” takes on a slightly more serious topic about women not being able to make choices about their bodies while “The Gun Song” is indeed about a gun (I’ll let you listen to the song to get the whole story). She ends with a fast-paced revival song that you might have heard coming from the most energized church in the city.
LIVE at Survival Kit is an album that is best listened to sparingly. I doubt it’s something you will be listening to every day on your drive to work but for me it felt like something you might bust out every couple of months and listen to the whole way through. Recommended
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