Low Cut Connie – Hi Honey (Rating 4 out of 5)

lowcutconnieGiven the visceral shower and aural pleasures that will envelope you after just one listen of Hi Honey, the latest and certainly greatest record from Philadelphia based Low Cut Connie, you will probably want to grab a partner, do a little dirty dancing, down a couple of shots of whiskey, and have a cigarette. And then, hit the repeat button and do it all over again.

If this album was a bar, it would be More Paddy’s Pub than Cheers with the joie de vie anti-hipster vibe of The Titty Twister and the underground cool vibe of Eric Von Zippers favorite bar, Big Daddy’s. A place where Charles Bukowski would never have to leave, and an establishment where Tom Waits along with his piano would definitely be drinking. The opening piano-centric number “Shake it Little Tina” is a soulful bluesy sort of number that introduces you to a band that just might be the best, let it all hang out, good time group this side of The Faces. “Diane (Don’t Point That Thing at Me),” Sounds like it could have been a b side on one of the very early Rolling Stones albums, with some Link Wray worthy surf guitar thrown in, and is a song that will make you scratch your head and wonder why this record is not included in the latest binge watched series you have been checking out.

“Back in School” is pure unadulterated fun, Jerry Lee Lewis served with a side order of Little Richard, and “Me N Annie” moves things low and just a touch slow. After the brief “Let’s Spend the Night Together” sounding intro that introduces us to Annie “Me N Annie on a Persian rug, we don’t need no drugs,” the song kicks into gear lets the vocal chops shine, and puts on full display the songwriting skills of band members Dan Finnemore and Adam Weiner.

The vibe slowly morphs from bluesy to groovy on “Taste So Good,” a  tune that you might have heard while wandering the back streets of 1960’s vintage London and just happened to stumble into a bar where the Spencer Davis Group was just starting their set as the opening act for the Kinks. Listen to this song three times in a row at maximum volume for maximum impact. It might be the coolest song you will hear all year.

Things get downright personal on “Danny’s Outta Money,” a song that pretty spot-on describes the financial plight of Finnemore back in the day, and features an in-character cameo from Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore that is worth the price of admission alone.  Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

The last three songs on the record don’t quite catch the ear in the same manner as the preceding 10 tasty morsels, but this is hardly a criticism. Much like “Sloop John B.” may not be one of the more spectacular tracks on Pet Sounds, and Sofia Vergara’s left breast, although fantastic in its own right, may not be quite as lovely as the right, with the possible exception of the whimsical “The Royal Screw,” a song that could have been on the B side of a Dr. Hook single back in the day, these tunes while still wonderful are just a shade less cool than the rest.

If there is justice in the court of musical opinion, Hi Honey should be a next level record for Low Cut Connie. With influences that range from The Rolling Stones to Little Richard, The Faces, Dr. Hook, Billy Joel, and even Los Lobos and The Mavericks in places, this is one heck of a good time outing where enjoyed with the proper lubrication, in the right setting, over a couple of amplified listens, it could probably even make Ray Donovan crack a smile.

— Jeremy Wren —