Tangleweed | Please Punch Richard for Me

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Folk: Alternative Folk Country: Bluegrass Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Please Punch Richard for Me

by Tangleweed

Thirteen new tracks of acoustic Americana from Chicago's forward-looking musical reactionaries. The Chicago Reader says Tangleweed is "Fluid, easy, sometimes fiery and sometimes mellow, full of delightful interplay."
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cold Cold Ground
2:33 $0.99
2. Sloop John B
3:34 $0.99
3. Logan Square Dance
2:01 $0.99
4. Holy Ground
2:51 $0.99
5. Whiskey on a Sunday
2:53 $0.99
6. Fox on the Town
2:15 $0.99
7. Last Night I Hit the Bottle
2:52 $0.99
8. Billy in the L'Oh Ground
2:13 $0.99
9. Rolling Downhill
3:41 $0.99
10. Weila Waila
2:22 $0.99
11. Colorado Cabin
2:37 $0.99
12. Dirty Dog
2:18 $0.99
13. Teenage Kicks
2:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
An Introduction to This Sound Recording, by Alexander Gelfand, Ph.D

Any serious consideration of American folk music must eventually grapple with at least two thorny questions.

First, precisely who are these mysterious "folk?" Are they the simple, rural inhabitants of our nation's long-forgotten past—barefoot, unlettered, yet mysteriously drawn to rhyming epics about train wrecks, alcoholism, and infanticide?

Second, have the wholesome songs that once poured from their toothless, impoverished mouths—the ballads and ditties that informed and educated, edified and entertained—also been consigned to the dustbin of history?

Wonder no more. For as the music on this album so ably demonstrates, the "folk" in question are us. We are them. They are, in effect and inter alia, the same people we are. And their music—or rather, our music, the music that belongs to both us and them, we and they—lives on.

Who among us, for example, has not woken up wearing someone else's trousers in the backseat of a powder-blue Chevette ("Last Night I Hit the Bottle"), or considered sticking a penknife, long and sharp, into a baby's skull ("Weilia Waila")?

And who would not be shaken by a temperance song such as "Last Night I Hit the Bottle," with its dire warnings of the dangers of demon rum? Or stirred to their core by a sacred song of devotion such as "The Holy Ground," whose very title speaks to the staunch faith and upright moral character of those seafaring Irish immigrants upon whose backs were built these United States?

(One cannot help but notice the presence on this album of yet another song whose roots can be traced to foreign shores: "Teenage Kicks," by the Irish group The Undertones, a collective that drew early inspiration from the presumably Latin folk ensemble, The Ramones. One could not ask for a better musical illustration of the great American melting pot.)

And so the grand tradition of American folk music continues—music that touches us in our secret places, moving us in ways unimagined by the vacuous teenyboppers and salacious hip-hoppers whose clangorous "chart-toppers" dominate the barren wasteland of contemporary popular culture.

They are not us. We are not them. And yet, thanks to Tangleweed, we got ours.

Who could ask for anything more?



to write a review

Joe Ross

Playful, lively, spirited and full of fun
“Please Punch Richard for Me,” the 2011 release of acoustic Americana and alternative folk from “Chicago's forward-looking musical reactionaries” is similar to their previous releases, but it does show added growth and maturity in their music’s development over the past seven years. Tangleweed proudly and enthusiastically embrace their role as purveyors of folk music, and we hear influences of old-time, bluegrass, jug band, Irish and swing music in their rustic repertoire. Liner notes written by Dr. Alexander Gelfand ask (and answer) the question of “who are these mysterious ‘folk’”? He concludes that “the ‘folk’ in question are us. We are them … and their music – or rather our music, the music that belongs to both of us and them, we and they – lives on.”

When Tangleweed released “Just A Spoonful” and "Where You Been Gone So Long?" back in 2005 and 2006 we heard a stronger bluegrass influence in their music with the addition of a banjo- player in the band. Ryan Fisher has moved on to other endeavors, but Paul Wargaski (upright bass, vocals), Billy Oh (fiddle, vocals), and Kenneth Rainey (mandolin, vocals), and Scott Judd (guitar, vocals) are still in band and sharing a chemistry that results in good-time music with plenty of energy and exuberance. Perhaps a little guest banjo on a few tracks the new album would’ve been a wise move. Special guests do include Joe Nelson (drums) and Jerald Shelato (jug) so we’ve heard the band’s spunk evolve in a slightly different direction that still gets people tapping their toes, dancing their rears off, and having fun in the watering holes and shows they regularly appear in. Tangleweed closes this project with a cover of John Neil’s “Teenage Kicks” in which they recognize “teenage dreams are so hard to beat” and “teenage kicks, right through the night.” Well, it’s also this band’s own dreams and kicks that keep them enthusiastically playing to their growing fan base. I like their music because it reminds me of my own dreams and kicks when I was playing music back in my 20s and 30s.

Tangleweed’s sturdy and confident music is showing that they’ve been working on arrangements, as well as vocals, and the string band's eclectic repertoire is still breezy and refreshing like the winds that blow through their city’s urban environment. Playful, lively, spirited and full of fun pretty much sums it up. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Review)