Doin’ The Charleston Album


The latest independent release by Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters is pure 1920s in flavour and available on Bandcamp

With the same maverick spirit that produced ‘The Phantom Dancer’ (the sold-out first CD and the award-winning, national community radio show), ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is the long-awaited second album from Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters

Recorded live-in-studio in just 5 hours, ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is the first document of Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters as a purely Roaring 20s Speakeasy 5-piece. There are more layers, more stylistic tangents than before, with a DNA recovered from the very bones of smoking, catchy, 1920s speakeasy pop. At the forefront is the undeniably authentic and unique Roaring 20s vocal style of Greg Poppleton

A pre-release spin of ‘Doin The Charleston’ at the 2012 Sydney Fringe Festival had swing dancers crowding the dance floor

Greg Poppleton is very proud of the results, “For me, ‘Doin’ The Charleston’, is all about the songs, how they line up, intertwine, switch partners and promenade home”

Greg has expanded his 3.5 octave sonic palette with a long list of influences to forge his own sound. Heir to a tradition of finely-crafted, dramatic, confessional music that explores the ups and downs of life and love with a keenly-observed honesty that touches all who hear, Greg Poppleton is backed by what really is an all-star speakeasy band of world-touring jazz musicians…

Paul Furniss weaves shimmering, infectious, toe-tapping anthems using soprano, alto, tenor saxophones and clarinet. Al Davey wails, growls and caresses on trumpet and trombone. He brings together the brightest elements and darkest undertones in a unique blend of unshackled two-beat. Grahame Conlon’s banjo demands attention weaving audacious fat chords around the pulsing, minimalist sousaphone loops of Rod Herbert and ARIA nominee Geoff Power and the chemically infused drum beats and bootleg hooch washboard laid down by Bell band legend, Lawrie Thompson

The quintet makes lullabies, lush dreamy vintage pop, and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of hot, danceable jazz. Vocal hooks are inescapable, lush productions uncannily authentic to the Roaring 20s, as sophisticated and pristine as anything on a 78 disc. ‘Doin’ The Charleston’s’ 14 tracks (including a bonus alternate take on the soaring St James Infirmary) trace a unique aesthetic universe that is fully-crafted and fully-realised, deftly walking the lines between joyous exhilaration and otherworldly rapture, pleasure-centre pop and total self-possession

It has been described as the Temperance Seven meets’ Don Byron’s Bug Music

Greg Poppleton & The Bakelite Broadcasters’ is a universe that invites exploration and demands revisiting. ‘Doin’ The Charleston’ is a journey from darkness to light, from anger to love, from chaos to order. Buy at Bandcamp, CD Baby and bakelitejazz.com

Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters Trio for a 30th Birthday at the ArtHouse
Greg Poppleton and the Bakelite Broadcasters Trio for a 30th Birthday at the ArtHouse

‘Doin’ The Charleston’ has been featured by Bob Rogers in a one hour special on the album over 2CH and the Macquarie Network, Sydney. It has also been CD of the Week on ArtSoundFM Canberra and Jazz Album of the Week on 5MBS Adelaide

Former jazz critic for The Australian newspaper, Kevin Jones, wrote about ‘Doin The Charleston’…

“Even in the 21st century, the music of the so-called jazz age (the Roaring Twenties) still holds a fascination for many, judging by the number of bands which play this style of music world-wide. The Bakelite Broadcasters, led by vocalist Greg Poppleton, keeps the 1920s’ flag flying in Sydney as this enjoyable disc, the second by the group, shows.

They are mostly pre-Swing Era songs written before Benny Goodman launched jazz’s most popular years at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles on August 21, 1935 ranging from Paul Dresser’s My Gal Sal (1907) to Fats Wallers’ I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Lettter (1935) and include The Charleston (1923) and Sweet Lorraine and Button Up Your Overcoat (both written in 1928)
Listening to the 1929 recording by the Mound City Blue Blowers of I Ain’t Got Nobody and My Gal Sal shows the Broadcasters have captured the basic sound. Not surprising when you consider the group includes musicians of the calibre of Paul Furniss (reeds) Al Davey (trumpet and trombone) and Lawrie Thompson (drums and washboard) who show how well they have mastered the style. Grahame Conlon (tenor banjo) makes a mockery of those many banjo jokes with his rollicking solo on The Road To Gundagai. As for the leader, some may find his voice a little affected at times but he has captured that decade’s vocal style to perfection especially on Falling in Love Again sung in both English and German. As enjoyable as they are to listen to The Bakelite Broadcasters must be even better live.”

Enjoy!

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