Apart from their proven expertise in staying off the charts, cult rock aesthetes Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Miracle 3) and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5) also have a love for major league baseball, with a special interest in stories that get left out of the newscasts. So they’ve joined forces for the Baseball Project and brought in pals Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon to offer a musical salute to some of the colourful characters and memorable events that make America’s game so endlessly fascinating.
While a few Hall of Famers like Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays are name-checked on the entertaining Frozen Ropes And Dying Quails disc, McCaughey and Wynn share a kinship with the tragically flawed near-greats. They’re at their best when celebrating undervalued folk heroes (Fernando Valenzuela) and overlooked legends (Curt Flood) along with lovable losers (Harvey Haddix and Black Jack McDowell). The insightful tunes are cleverly composed, with a sharp sense of wit and a comprehensive knowledge of the game. If you’re not careful, you may learn something.