The diversely talented and delightfully humorous DuQuette shares his skill at delivering entertaining songs on this new CD. He’s joined by several other instrumentalists and singers on this album. The music is described in “folk alternative” genre, but that doesn’t cover the range of styles presented here. The first track “I’m Baba Lon” introduces the singer with a swagger. He sings about being an ordinary guy most of the time, “but when I wrap my turban on, the gods are near, my mind is clear, I’m Baba Lon.” The listener is drawn into his world with barely a ripple in the space-time continuum.
The CD is packed with 21 songs. Lon’s voice is reminiscent of Willie Nelson’s, tinged with the wisdom earned through time and age. There’s a bit of Leon Redbone style inspired by folk songs, torch songs, the early blues of Robert Johnson, the shuffle, and even a bit of Mersey beat. The range of tunes, tempos, and instrumental mixtures provide plenty of variety.
Lon Milo adds mysticism and metaphysics into his lyrics, so these aren’t the usual “my baby left me and now I’m drowning in beer” songs. “True Buckaroos incarnate together…sometimes we’re outlaws and sometimes we’re saints/ Sometimes we’re heroes and sometimes we ain’t.” The next song is a gospel-style tune titled “Last Night I Dreamed of Dead People,” that’s sure to be popular with mediums everywhere.
DuQuette skips into Django Reinhardt territory in “Outside the Box,” a morality song that warns of the dangers of thinking differently. There’s a jaunty ode to a deity called “I Wish I Were Krishna”. A few songs later the listener is treated to the song that should be the anthem of the anti-organized religion crowd, “Sweet Babalon.” The lyrics poke fun at traditional religion: “they all keep saying that Jesus is lord/It’ll take me in the Rapture, you’ll come with a sword/Preachers on TV tell me how I’m doing wrong/But I’ve tasted the lips of sweet Babalon.” ROTFLMAO!!!
Lon even treads into the rap zone in “Don’t Write Me Off”, a song about the value of elderly people. Hear, hear! “I’m Scared” mocks all of the things society dreams up as fearful threats; it’s a long list that makes for a highly entertaining song. Then he laments forbidden joys in “I Love To Get Drunk In the Car.” The complexities of multiple lifetimes are described in “I Once Was The Hero of Meggido.”
Our man Lon is at his most sarcastic when he plays a two-step beat. He returns to this rhythmic mode in “Class Warfare.” (And I resent that one percent/You bet your ass its class warfare.) There are digs at the big banks and Fox News, so this song is not to be missed. The CD ends with “If We Believed,” a final jewel of satirical mockery worthy of Monty Python. If it doesn’t send you into whoops of laughter, your funny bone is broken beyond repair.
This album is a smorgasbord of ideas and melodies by a metaphysical master. It’s a fantastic gift for a fellow traveler, great music for driving down the road, fun for playing at a post-sabbat feast, and for reinforcing the will to resist the system when the spirit is flagging or blue. Lon’s music gently pokes sharp sticks into the belly of the cannibalistic societal bears and bugaboos of our era. It’s absolutely a treat to listen as DuQuette revives the traditions of using music to protest injustice and to unfold universal mysteries with love and laughter.
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Artist: Lon Milo DuQuette
Ninety Three Records, 2015
mp3 download $12.93; CD $12.93