It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

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The Gary Minkler Combination - Little Trailer Ruby (2013)


The Gary Minkler Combination “Little Trailer Ruby” (Green Monkey, 2013)               

               Minkler fronted Seattle’s ‘90s grungers Red Dress, but this is his first solo album, albeit backed by a tight quartet (including some old Red Dress buddies) that flesh out his “sound pictures” with carefully structured arrangements. There’s a little jazz, some late night lizard lounging, a gospel chorus or three… all held together by Minkler’s soulful vocals. He even climbs up on his soap box for a few Lord Buckley-styled pronouncements.

                There’s a woozy, bluesy vibe to the title track and story-songs like “Lulu and Wanda” that play fast and loose with melodies and time signatures and skinny dip into the Zappa gene pool without falling into Beeheartian caricature. Elsewhere, the vibe is laid back, like sinking into an alcoholic stupor at some sleazy downtown dive with piano man Tom Waits coaxing one more round out of your wallet. I also heard more than a few strains of Springsteen and particularly Warren Zevon sneaking into Minkler’s raspy vocals, while their penchant for championing blue color hangabouts and lowlifes also peppers his tales of woe.

                Now I wouldn’t suggest Minkler’s about to launch some new “trailer trash rock” subgenre, but fans of Kim Fowley’s Sand collaboration with Roy Swedeen (“The West Is The Best”) may also  find solace and comfort in spending an hour or so with the down and outs populating Minkler’s universe.

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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