Music News

Storytyme

It's likely that brothers Pete, Phil and Tony Lewis were on something -- probably a lot of something -- when they recorded RV Livin'. The disc feels gleefully inebriated, as if the alcoholic or chemical cocktails that fueled its creators somehow seeped into every song.

The CD's sound quality falls somewhere between amateurish and average, yet aural perfection is beside the point on tracks such as the title cut, in which an Eastern European folk melody inspires the boisterous boys to spell out the title, complete with apostrophe. (Extra credit for rhyming "Sioux Falls, South Dakota" with "Mankato, Minnesota.") Here and elsewhere, Pete's vocals are untutored and unhinged; he croons, warbles, bays or hollers, depending upon the spirits moving him. His impulsiveness comes in handy, given the music's jammy tendencies. Each time the likes of "Mama's Cookin'" head toward predictability, he jerks them in often amusing, frequently satisfying directions.

Just say yes.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts