Most retro groups either tinker with vintage sounds so music lovers can hear them from a new perspective or stick to the verities. The latter course is generally less rewarding, but such combos can still succeed if the musicians are good enough and their affection for the form comes through loud and clear. The Informants is such a band.
Stiletto Angel, which is being celebrated during a CD-release event on Friday, November 9, at the Skylark Lounge, doesn't offer anything particularly novel; its jump blues and boogie-woogie numbers connect the dots in the expected ways. Luckily, Kerry Pastine, formerly of the Mean Eyed Cats, is a feisty, consistently potent vocalist, bassist Mike "Mac" McMurray and drummer Paul Christophersen make a killer rhythm section, and guitarist Paul Shellooe and a brass-and-reed crew consisting of Kenny Plum, Jonny Love and Mark Richardson juice up entertaining pastiches like "Stuck on You" and "Let's Roll."
With players this strong, why change anything?