THE LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA play the Gladstone Friday (July 29). See listing Rating: NNN
Self-described as a Balkan-klezmer-Gypsy-party-punk super-band, Toronto's Lemon Bucket Orkestra get the CBC treatment on their debut EP (it was recorded at Studio 211) of folk songs from Bosnia, Serbia, the Ukraine, Macedonia and Odessa.
More Gypsy-jazz than punk, the songs would suit dances, parties and weddings. Despite the number of musicians - 13 - the band is tight, the tunes well arranged, the vocals clear, and the violins, accordion, sopilka (a fife), clarinet and horns take turns soloing.
The Orkestra's knack for drama comes through in their percussive use of drymba (Jew's harp) in the first song, Ajde Jano. Romani (Gypsy) Opa Cupa is super-hyper, while proud-sounding Tomu Kosa is a highlight thanks to lead vocals by Anastasia Baczynskyj.
Lemon Bucket's an enthusiastic crew, willing to experiment with mashing up traditions, as demonstrated by Freeman Dre's silly guest hip-hop segment on Lemon-cheeky.
Top track: Tomu Kosa