May 15, 2010

Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra: Honker

Neo-jazzers Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra have finally finished Honker, their sophomore album, follow-up for their 2007 album Mr. Softy. Singer Ethan Lipton is backed by his trusty trio Eben Levy (guitar), Ian Riggs (upright bass) & Vito Dieterle (sax), a trio that’s now been with him for over five years. Notable guest is Matt Berninger (The National) who appears on "When You Die" with Cynthia Hopkins (Gloria Deluxe) and the students of Dryden Middle School.

Lipton delivers his lyrics in an off-handed way, totally at ease. He has a sharp eye and doesn't hold back ("I am not sorry for all those people that I murdered" , "You disappointment looks just like mine"). He is on top of his game if he observes that things have changed without anyone really noting at first, like in Skyrocketed, the story about a girl whose career takes off, leaving her friends behind in bewilderment. You Were Right + It's OK is a consolation for all people who feel that the world is treating them badly.

With two bike rides serving as bookends Honker is an album that takes a look into the everyday lives of people in New York. The themes are universal. There's death, there's pity, there's humor, there's sarcasm, and there are cats and dogs.

Honker is a self-released album. Buy it from the band's website. Release date: June 29.

  1. Bicycle
  2. Skyrocketed
  3. I'm Sorry
  4. You Were Right + It's OK
  5. Little Container
  6. Showing My Love
  7. We Would Have Never Met
  8. Poor Old Whitey
  9. My Pit Bull
  10. Disappointment
  11. Wonderful
  12. First Moved To Town
  13. Out Of This Bed
  14. He Gets It
  15. Wash Hands
  16. When You Die
  17. If The Police
  18. Hippie Song
  19. People And Cats
  20. Bicycle 2
Live dates:
  • 05/29 Brooklyn, NY – Barbès (8:00pm, two sets)
  • 06/26 Brooklyn, NY – Barbès (8:00pm, two sets)
  • 06/29 New York, NY - The Living Room (7:00pm, two sets)
  • 06/30 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall (8:00pm, two sets)
  • 07/01 New York, NY - Rockwood Music Hall (8:00pm, two sets)


HCTF review of Mr. Softy.

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