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Goose – Ted Tapes 2021

March 11, 2021

My son recently tipped me off that Vampire Weekend commissioned a couple of artists to cover the shortest song on Father Of The Bride. They commissioned acclaimed jazz saxophonist Sam Gendel and the Connecticut jam band Goose to both create their own reinterpretations of “2021”on an EP titled 40:42. Vampire Weekend gave Gendel and Goose the directive to turn their one minute and thirty-nine second long song into two twenty minute and twenty-one second versions (hence the title 40:42). The Gendle version didn’t do much for me but the Goose version blew me away.

Vampire Weekend – 40:42

I have always felt the Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead influence in Vampire Weekend, but the Garcia influence is totally in your face in the Goose cover of “2021.” If your favorite part of a Grateful Dead song is the meandering Jerry Garcia solo, you are going to love Goose. The Goose of Ted Tapes reminds me a lot of Circles Around The Sun a predominantly instrumental Dead inspired jam band. Sampling some of the Goose catalog, it appears Ted Tapes is an instrumental anomaly, most of their catalog has vocals.

There is a big fun factor to Goose – as their bio on their website states:

“Goose could be likened to a keg party in the woods on a summer night with all of your closest friends.”

The quartet, based in Norwalk, CT, is comprised of Rick Mitarotonda (vocals, guitar), Peter Anspach (vocals, keyboards/guitar), Trevor Bass (bass), and Ben Atkind (drums).

When I heard Ted Tapes 2021 I was all in. Ted Tapes 2021 is 16 instrumental tracks from band soundchecks and rehearsals held between April 2019 and December 2020. It is available on the various streaming services. I am enthusiastic enough about the release to preorder the vinyl via Bandcamp.

Though clearly a jam band, this is not noodling – these are songs. They are pleasant enough to be background music, but engaging enough for to for serious listening. Rick Mitarotonda’s guitar is the most prominent feature of the bands sound, but this is a very tight ensemble, so I don’t want to give the impression this is showy shredding by the guitar player. I am surprised that these jam sessions sound thoughtfully composed – the band is super tight. I have heard the band’s sound described as folk-funk and that is as good a description as any. But I also hear a bit of prog and 70s jazz rock fusion too. But the Grateful Dead folk vibe does prevail. Great album – check it out.


From → Music Reviews

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