Cocktail Swing

This New England-based acoustic swing band is pretty enjoyable. Leader and fiddle player Rani Arbo possesses a pleasing Your Hit Parade kind of alto, with just a dash of Grand Ole Opry inflection. From blues to country to boogie woogie, all the sonic influences here feel as if they belong together. From the bluesy Guy Clark-penned "Baby Took a Limo to Memphis," to bluegrass legend Lefty Frizell’s "I’ll Do My Cryin’ at Night," and on through covers of material by Louis Armstrong, Brandt/Haymes, Dusty Owens and more, what allows these diverse pieces to hang together so comfortably is the band’s energetic yet lovingly precise performances. Ukulele player and Arbo’s long-time musical partner, Andrew Kinsey, turns in a fine vocal on Anne Murray’s old hit "Snowbird" and also in a duet with Arbo on Dusty Owens’ "Once More." Arbo’s best moment is her playful delivery over the brightly gloomy march arrangement of the old standard "Comes Love." Worth hearing; worth owning.