© Warren Fahey
I grew up with my mother’s family throwing snatches of Yiddish at me. I caught a few and somehow they are now part of my vocabulary, mostly curses, put downs and naughty words. One colloquial expressions was: “What a shamozzle!”, meaning a problem that isn’t really necessary, or could easily be fixed, but usually isn’t. This album is a bit of a shamozzle in that we have a band that probably developed as a Celtic folk rock band and now finds itself releasing an album of mostly Yiddish songs.
I try and keep a very open ear and I’d bet five quid that Ricketty Bridge is a terrific live act, especially if you like a bit of this and a bit of that. There’s no information with the disc to give details of the group nor their rationale to release this material. I can tell you they are from Victoria (‘cause their telephone is included on the CD cover) and Matthew Rees and Henriette Lisieux are the singers. There’s a MySpace page (see below) if you’d like to know more about them. The songs come from all over: Tom Clough, Steve Earle and Bob Geldof (I’ve always liked his ‘Song of Indifference’) join with some traditional material and a couple of those aforementioned Yiddish ditties. What I really enjoyed, for my own perverse reason, were the strange addition of campy classics ‘Mambo Italiano’, ‘Volare’ and ‘Bei ir Bist Du Shein’. The set ends with Ivanovici and Tauber’s ‘Anniversary Song’ which really made me think Ricketty Bridge play this at a few local Jewish weddings. As they say in the classics: viva la difference!