Boiled in Lead

By William Brents

When I saw Boiled In Lead perform at Uncle Pleasant's last year, they reminded me of absolutely no one. That alone guaranteed my presence for their July 26 show also held at Uncle Pleasant's.

Instead of fumbling over my own words trying to describe Boiled In Lead's sound, I've decided to use their own peerless description of "Celtodelic worldbeat rock 'n' reel." Essentially the band achieves their dynamic and authentic sound by playing a variety of instruments.

Vocalist Todd Menton handled the electric guitar, acoustic guitar and mandolin and he even threw in fine tin whistle demonstration. Bassist Drew Miller also showed his versatility by sitting down with his celebrated dulcimer. And, not to be outdone, percussionist Robin "Adnan" Anders obliged us with his skillful touch. However, a piece of the musical puzzle was missing. Fiddler David Stenshoel was unable to tour this time out and if you were at all familiar with their material then you surely recognized his absence.

Instead of replacing Stenshoel with another fiddler they brought along a nonofficial member/guitarist Tom King from Cordelia's Dad, a band that King is an official member of. I don't know if King was trying to fill in the fiddle parts or just hoping to bring something new to the material with his classic Rickenbacker guitar. Whatever the case, maybe his boring bar chord exhibition didn't pan out. Nice thought, guys, but next time please bring a fiddle player.

Despite that failed experiment there were many highlights, one of which occurred when they played "Step It Out, Mary," an Irish song about the ancient and barbaric practice of arranging marriages. "The Microorganism," written by Todd Menton and "Madman Mora Blues," written by a friend, John Van Orman, might be the best originals they've ever done and, thankfully, they performed both.

"ORB" is the band's latest release and, as usual, blends originals with traditional tunes. One such song, "The Town of Bally Bay," was a definite standout that possessed a catchy chorus that went something like:

To me ringle-dingle dum

To me ringle-dingle laddie-0

To me ringle-dingle dum

To me whack! fol the laddie-0.

I went to bed mumbling those lines.

Robert Shannon Meitus and the Dorkestra opened the show with their hot and cold acoustical stylings, lyrically touching on political and self-deprecating humor.