This 2009 gem features original compositions by the father-daughter duo, Steve and Amanda Boisen who accompany themselves on ukulele, bass, guitar and clarinet. The dozen songs have infectious melodies and witty, compelling lyrics. Several have a vintage quality with a modern twist such as opener, “Clawfoot Tub,” which deals with placing a loved one in an assisted living facility.
“Father Knows Best” is a charming waltz framed by “There is no end to the lengths I would go/To prove that you are wrong about most things.” Those words alone are worthy of being showcased in needlepoint.
It’s hard to resist quoting the entire “In Spite of You. ” The title itself suggests intentional ambiguity — despite or in retaliation? Sarcasm abounds. “Yes you’re quite a guy/You are a credit to the gender.” Then, “And now I’ve lost my temper/And I’ll bet you took that too.”
The wry initial question of Amanda’s “Friendly Service Announcement,” “What’s this mess on the floor? / I think it’s your ego” softens a seriously stern warning of an inevitable disaster. The following song, “Lortab Confessions,” is a more flip treatment of bold kids who recreationally medicate and play “dodge ball with balloons.”
I am vexed that the viral, award winning video of “One Less Tear” did not elicit a single late night TV show invitation.
There is also The Barnkicker Ukulele Companion: A Songbook and Guide for Ukulele Players that is a treasury of uke tidbits for both fledgling and more advanced musicians who would like to play the songs on Up Before Noon.
Boisen’s prose style is reminiscent of another multitalented Steve, Steve Allen.
Up Before Noon is six years old, but good music has no limited shelf-life.
- Album Review: Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel’s ‘Christmas Island’ - December 19, 2019
- Free For All: community supported high quality music - September 29, 2019
- Album Review: John Prine’s ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’ - February 9, 2019