“Bringing swing to the new generation” is the mission of Colorado band Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles. Their new album Gin & Moonlight is a high energy, sexy, and super vintage swing party. Joe Smith is the premier trumpeter of Denver who started this music venture with a big band of musicians and vocalists. The album showcases the immense enthusiasm of the Spicy Pickles’ love and admiration for this historic style of music.
The songs are typically played in the style of ’30s and ’40s swing. They seriously have groove and rhythm that requires you to start tapping your toes. “Where’s Gary” is an instrumental piece that shows off the musicians’ skill and it’s truly crazy how many of those skills they have. There is a large variety of subtleties, like the old-timey piano. You have to really listen for it but, when you catch it, its so good.
Swing Is Making A Comeback Thanks to The Spicy Pickles
It is easy to think that Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles are masters at their instrumental pieces, but vocalist Cara Griffith adds so much to the album. Her voice is nostalgic with a sweet character quality that was made for swing music. “They Raided the Joint” is a jumping song that Griffith just glides through effortlessly while the band is quickly jamming along.
Gin & Moonlight feels like a history lesson in swing music, as it has so many tempos and attitudes exhibited. Some slower numbers include “Blue and Sentimental” and “A Moonless Night”. These provide a break for you and you will need it after you have been swing dancing to the majority of the album.
Joe Smith & the Spicy Pickles is just so fun. Their goal is clear and its obvious that they are beyond passionate about it. Gin & Moonlight is out and will transport you back in time.