By Dani Kowalczyk
The Sophomore album of Idiot Grins, ‘Big Man’ packs a big time punch. The 11 track LP pays it’s dues to the blues and jazz pop sources like Baltimore, Memphis soul, and Chicago jazz. But different from their first album is the more R&B feel, the more smooth romantic lyrically telling tracks like Big Man and Sunggy Do. The influences quoted reign in the likes of Booker T, Same & Dave, and the MG’s. No surprise to find that the legendary crew recorded the album at famous Ardent Studios in Tennessee. Rhythm and Blues is a hard bit these days if it’s pop-driven or synth-heavy, so staying true to their roots, Idiot Grins made some tweaks and some twangs to find the perfect tune to jam to.
Right off the bat, I noticed the wonderfully crafted track titles. Any linguist would giggle at the well-played word play. The first track, “How to Get to (Baltimore)” opens the album with a little bit of their past and a little bit of what to expect. “Poppy Piss” starts that lost love R&B feel but is still true to the jazzy trumpet jump. Some of my favorites to jam to include: “Snuggy Doo,” “One Reason,” and the very bad ass “Ovaltang.” The tracks vary from blues to a bit of country, a little rock and roll, and even some R&B. A wealthy stack of robust sounds make it a bit to swallow, but nonetheless, a worthy listen. Perhaps throw it in with a great blue playlist you’ve got going already and enjoy the mix!