The Depressions w/Ben Cameron & Professor Smartypants
Wed., June 20, 9 p.m. and Wed., June 27, 9 p.m. 2012
The Depressions headed into the studio with the intention of making a “hand-out-the-window driving record in the strain of those ’70s AM radio records we all love — Jackson Browne, Little Feat, Tom Petty, Doobies, etc.,” according to head Depression Ben Cameron. And that’s exactly what they accomplished: The rough mixes I heard from the tentatively titled Pas Tout La (Cajun French for “not all there”) are some of the most groovin’ summertime tunes I’ve heard in ages. “Rita” is a bubbly gumbo that sounds like a cross between Robert Palmer’s “Sneaking Sally Through the Alley” and The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek,” while “Stones” is funky stomper in the spirit of Browne’s more country-leaning tracks. Instrumental nuances aside, the most striking touchstone for The Depressions is vintage Paul Simon — particularly Cameron’s pensive tenor and elegant lyrics on the outstanding “Eloise.” This is rare and special music, and unlike anything coming out of Nashville right now. The Depressions play every Wednesday in June at the Family Wash, and he’s got some pretty great openers lined up: On June 20, Paul Simon drummer Jim Oblon will pick up a guitar and front his own throwback country outfit, and on June 27, poet laureate of the swamp Kevin Gordon takes the stage. If all goes well, a few copies of Pas Tout La will be available at the June 27 performance.