Howie Newman – You Shoulda Been There

Howie Newman – You Shoulda Been There
Major League Records
It is not like it is anything new to combine comedy and music. Howie Newman manages to weave solid musical abilities with a quirky sense of humor to perhaps dub him something of a “stand-up comedi-usician.” He is a very good guitar picker and has a simple, honest and nicely harmonic voice. The stand-out facet is the humor of the songs which also proves that you can be clean with your humor and still be very funny. In fact, musicians should really appreciate some of the sardonic humor behind songs such as “Big in Belgium.” and “Buy My Record”. Some of the songs really grab you, such as “Cosmic Garbage Man” that harkens to the likes of Arlo Guthrie and Ray Stevens, adding a bit of bluesy harmonica to spice it up further. “Low Tech” and “That Old Car” are songs that everyone can identify with, and you can also tap your feet and clap along with them. This is a live CD and the production could be a bit cleaner, but that is a minor criticism in light of the talent that went into creating songs that are enjoyable and uplifting, and try to be, well, fun – something that is quite rare in music these days. – MW



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