Lorenzo Menzerschmidt? Who dat? Well, it’s really Victor DeLorenzo on drums, percussion and vocalessence, Tony Menzer on bass and backing vocals and “Lost Jim” Ohlschmidt in guitar and lead vocals. This debut album of six originals and 5 covers is full of blues, rockabilly, swing and other influences. Led by Oldschmidt, produced by DeLorenzo and promoted my Menzer, these Wisconsonites range from humorous to serious, but always interesting.
Jim penned the original tunes and they are pretty darn good. From the opening fun lyrics of “I’m A Mess” to the closing “Since My Baby Left This Town” the tunes are well crafted and solid. The former addressed the singer’s life and it’s problems while the latter bemoans the loss of his woman; topics we’ve heard in many a blues song but given a fresh approach here. “29’s a Good Road” is a rockabilly number and sort of Wisconsin travelogue of places and roads to travel. Ohlschmidt picks out some nice guitar here. “Check The Gage” also rocks and stays with the travel theme.
Always on the lookout for a different sort of cover, “Johnny B. Goode” get a down tempo, swing treatment in a minor key– very cool. Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry” on the National Resophonic screams for an iced tea and a front porch to sit on.
This is a fun CD; traditional blues, a little rockabilly and a whole lot of good music. The guys take their craft seriously, even when the topic is more tongue in cheek. This was a very enjoyable debut album and I hope to catch up with these guys to hear more soon!
Reviewed by Steve Jones