The Tin Men, Sing with Me (Independent)

600x600bb-85Billing themselves as “America’s premiere washboard, sousaphone, and guitar trio,” The Tin Men have been going strong for over fifteen years. They’ve found something special in that combination of instruments and it’s surprising there aren’t more bands doing this configuration. Of course, who would try to compete with the heavy-hitters in this outfit? Alex McMurray is a natural songwriter and a solid guitar player, Matt Perrine is one of the best sousaphone players out there, and Washboard Chaz is a New Orleans rhythm institution. Sing with Me, their fifth album, begins with a clarion call to all the “Freaks” to pitch a fit, jump and shout. “Sing with Me” furthers that sentiment. Paired with the band’s signature firecracker rhythm, these two songs set the tone for an album that is pure, contagious fun. Alex McMurray’s originals feel as if they’re already classics. The songs that are covers keep things eclectic. They’ve put their unique spin on the jazz standards “Root Hog or Die” and “Borneo,” Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop,” the New Orleans favorite “Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing,” Allen Toussaint’s “Life” and finish with a light-hearted version of the bittersweet “We’ll Meet Again.” It’s a joyous album that is sure to be a new favorite for New Orleans music fans.