When I was happily whirling around the 2011 Sweet and Hot Music Festival, over the long Labor Day weekend, I circled every Reynolds Brothers set on the schedule. Happily for us, there were nine . . . and I was only sorry the schedule didn’t break out into double-digit territory.
If you’ve been following my entirely understandable devotion to this sublimely hot band, you don’t need an explanation. If you’re new to the Reynolds Brothers, latch on, as Fats Waller would say. They are Ralf on washboard, refereeing, and exhortations; John on guitar, vocals, whistling, and commentary; Marc Caparone on incendiary cornet; Katie Cavera on string bass and sweet-hot singing; Larry Wright on alto saxophone, ocarina, and interpolations.
For this set, the Brothers were joined by their friend and ours, Ed Polcer, who turned up the flame right away for this September 3 set. He wasn’t the only surprise guest, as you will see. The Brothers began with something logical: the evergreen and always-delightful LADY BE GOOD:
The next selection suggests that the lady in question is very, very good — WHEN I TAKE MY SUGAR TO TEA:
The swinging pianist David Boeddinghaus, who loves to sit in with the Brothers, did just that on ALL GOD’S CHILDREN GOT RHYTHM, proving the song’s title true:
The sweet singer Molly Ryan, who (legend has it) sat in with the Brothers when she was very young, joined the throng for MY HONEY’S LOVIN’ ARMS:
And Dawn Lambeth, having settled young James Arden down for a moment in congenial hands, came aboard to sing one of her classic numbers, BLUE ROOM. The fellow on clarinet to Ed’s left? Allan Vache, of course:
And the set closed off with a too-brief but also accurately-titled I GOT RHYTHM, with Marc taking over the string bass and Katie picking up her National steel guitar:
“Deep rhythm capitivates me,” whenever the Brothers take the stand. Don’t you agree?