Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I find myself listening to this over and over again. It is quirky and down right fun. Two qualities that I cherish deeply. It’s minimalistic with a very simple arrangement. Proof that complicated does not always win. This is genius in its simplicity and transparency. What you see is what you get. And what you get is Gene Turonis or Gene D. Plumber.
Gene is a real, working plumber. It isn’t just a moniker, it is Gene’s trade. Gene hopes to retire and spend his time on his passion, music. How can we not root for that? We all love a great story. Just look at all of the pre coverage for The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness. They always highlight a horse or person or two with a compelling story. Once that feature runs, the odds of the horse actually go down. Which means people love to get behind something that makes them feel good.
Gene is my Pants On Fire. I am going to bet on Gene. And Gene has a good chance of winning. His style is very charming and really easy listening. These songs sort of get into your mind and soul. Gene also has a very unique and infectious singing style. This is the kind of voice that has traction. Once you give a listen to a couple of songs, you start to really crave Gene’s voice and playing style.
I’d Have to Be Crazy (Track 8) is a great song with some really thought provoking lyrics. The backing accordion is both beautiful and haunting. The Tex/Mex guitar is also a very pivotal component of this song. I gravitate to songs that are unconventional. This is the kind of song that belongs on my number one playlist, right beside May the Road Sing With You by The Amadans.
The album starts out with a really nice Tejano ditty, All The Pretty Girls (Track 1). That also happens to be the name of the album. Again, simplicity reins supreme. But that is not a bad thing. It works very well with Gene’s music and especially on this song. The lyric are a flat out hoot. It’s light hearted, yet serious.
The transition into the next song, Round And Round We Go (Track 2) is absolutely flawless. Another song heavily influenced by that Tex/Mex sound. It’s the accordion and flamenco style guitar playing that gives this song that Spanish and Western atmosphere. Another example of how simple doesn’t mean bad. I am truly impressed that simplicity can sound so swell.
Let’s all get behind Gene. He is a little left or right of center and that is what makes life “so darned interesting“. It’s music like this that people remember, not the polished, overproduced garbage that the labels mainly put out. There is still indie music and artists out there. Gene Turonis is ground zero for the movement.