Imagine someone put bluegrass, Gypsy jazz and swing into a blender and then decided to throw a barn dance and you’ll get Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra. The songs are replete with tales of corrupt landlords, death by whiskey, and getting the coffee DT’s (“I’ve made the wrong decision, I’ve got double vision, I’m a gibbering wreck on the floor”), but although the songs share subject matter with the blues, there’s no misery to be had here; just light hearted toe tapping, cello spinning, finger clicking, rhythmically infectious tunes. Thanks to the diverse fusion of banjo, cello, strings and the lead singer’s well delivered vocals I’d find it hard not to recommend these musically eclectic upstarts with one foot in the past and an eye on the future.
Originally printed in Issue 316 of the Kirkby Extra, January 2015
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.