'Carol Lipnik and Spookarama evoke a Coney Island of the ear, full of ghostly, carnivalesque moments' New York Times Coney Island native songwriter Carol Lipnik and her band Spookarama craft an eerie, hypnotic sound that raids the musical toy boxes of everyone from Dr. John and Janis Joplin to Kurt Weill and Tim Buckley. Hope Street is a neo-psychedelic folk-rock album with traces of European cabaret and Lipnik's sui generis brand of New Orleans witch-doctor swamp-blues voodoo. The album's transformations (please don't think of them as anything so mundane as 'cover versions') of other people's material range from Brian Eno ('By This River') to Nina Simone (Plain Gold Ring). Yet Lipnik's own songwriting provides some of Hope Street's most striking moments, whether on the wild-woman blues of 'Wild Pony' or the ethereal, atmospheric 'Language Of The Heart'. Perhaps most distinctive of all, even beyond the gumbo-garage rhythms of bassist David Kannenstine and drummer Geoff Mann, or the avant-psychedelia of guitarist Marlon Cherry, is Lipnik's miraculous, octave spanning voice, capable of leaping effortlessly from guttural growl to dog-whistle wail. Produced by former Blue Man Group band member Bradford Reed, who contributes a number of exotic instrumental touches himself, Hope Street stands to prove that the day of the strikingly distinctive, left-field singer-songwriter did not end when Captain Beefheart exiled himself to the Mojave desert.
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