Friday, February 1, 2008

Music Spotlight: Paul Cebar (and the Milwaukeeans)

Artist: Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans

Albums: Upstroke for the Downfolk, The Get-Go, Suchamuch, That Unhinged Thing

Though his origins are in Milwaukee, Paul Cebar's music has a worldy feel to it. Covering everything from funk and soul to zydeco and Caribbean sounds, his band moves effortlessly between genres to provide music that keeps playing on in your head long after the cd is turned off. While the Milwaukeeans have changed over the years, the constant has always been their frontman, whose voice is remenicient of a young Van Morrison and his songs make you want to dance.

Cebar's career caught on with the release of That Unhinged Thing. A larger band sound complete with horns and accompanying vocals by Robin Pleur, That Unhinged Thing shows off the playful nature of the band with a solid dance hall sound. Standout tracks include: Twice Little Sixteen, the title track and I Love Soul.

Starting off with the soulful funk of Didn't Leave Me No Ladder, Upstroke for the Downfolk moves smoothly from one track to the next and closing with the simple accoustic Somewhere Further Along. Along the way, you find some salsa (A Knife and A Rose) and a lot of dance music. Standout tracks: Please Don't Tell Me More, I Can't Dance For You, and Somewhere Further Along.

The Get-Go may be Cebar's most accomplished album to date. It showcases a more well-rounded musical flavor, pulling from calypso and ragtime, in addition to Cebar's already impressive catalog of music. There are still the foot-tapping dance songs at which Cebar excels, like Clap for the Couple, but there is a wealth of musical enjoyment that lasts through the final blues notes of Itta Bena Boy. Standout tracks: She Found a Fool, Sending My Love.

Ultimately, Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans thrive in their live performances. In an attempt to capture the energy of a live show, there is Suchamuch, a live set recorded in Chicago. Suchamuch provides a nice overview of the band's repetiore and musical skills, through solos in Check Your Bucket and Jump in the Line. Standout tracks: She's Such a Much, Going Back to New Orleans.

Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans can be found in Rock Music cds:
MR Cebar

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