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Party With! The Countdown Quartet

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Album Review

If you didn't know any better, you might think this misnamed quintet was riding the Meters' train straight out of the voodoo bayous of New Orleans, but instead they're taking the Squirrel Nut Zippers' express out of Raleigh. On hiatus from his main gig, Zippers frontman Jimbo Mathus lends his guitar, banjo, and vocal skills to this groove-oriented ensemble's spirited debut. But if you come to this party expecting a Zippers-style swingfest, you'll be sorely disappointed. Instead, you'll get a classically funky, New Orleans-style jam band, with horns, organ, and percussion working their off-tempo grooves into a sweat-inducing frenzy. From raucous second-line rhythms and "Low Rider"-style grooves War would kill for to soulful laments and ferociously funky rave-ups, the Countdown Quartet clearly knows how to get the party started and keep it going, with some genuinely memorable tunes to back up their formidable instrumental chops.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Countdown Quartet are something of a North Carolina indie supergroup, including past and present members of the Tonebenders, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and far less-known quantities like Six String Drag, Knockdown Society, and Ultra Fox. Formed by trombonist Dave Wright and bassist Steve Grothmann of the Tonebenders when that band broke up, they play good-natured soul-funk, both instrumental and...
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Party With! The Countdown Quartet, The Countdown Quartet
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