Cosmic Guerilla Femmes

Dressing Room for Eternity (Independent)

Troubadours of Divine Bliss

By Tim Roberts

Street musicians (or buskers) are the guerilla soldiers of the music industry: making a living off the sidewalk, playing a set of songs in one place then moving to another, collecting a hatfull or casefull of loose change, sometimes even performing a club show or two, rarely staying in one place for any stretch of time. They are part of a musical tradition that doubtlessly stretches back into ancient history. In a few rare instances they wrangle some studio time, lay down a few of their songs for posterity, then share the results with the rest of us. ‘

One pair of native buskers who make their way to Louisville every so often is the Troubadours of Divine Bliss. Their debut CD, Dressing Room for Eternity, is a 12-track treat cranked out with an acoustic guitar, accordion and harmonies that hug each other tighter than muscle does to bone.

The duo, Aim Me Smiley on guitar and Renee Anada on accordion, met as members of a charismatic church. After a crisis of faith, spurred on when Smiley’s father (a church deacon) kicked Renee’s father (the pastor) out of the pulpit, they went their own ways and reunited five years ago to begin spreading what they call a cosmic revolution of the spirit. But don’t think the tunes on Dressing Room are loaded with ambient chimey tones with lyrics about your chakra and bad vibes. Recorded in Louisville at Reel Time Audio and mastered at Mom’s Music, the Troubadours work through lots of folk-based melodies, some sassy jazz vocal riffs, a touch of the blues, a hint of zydeco, all mixed into cosmic cocktail of bliss and joy.

The CD’s packaging is simple to the point being of folk art: two sheets of square printed paper sandwiching the disc in a plastic envelope. The cover art was hand drawn with a red felt-tip pen. But that is part of the overall charm of Dressing Room, part of its gentle cosmic guerilla assault on us.

And part of the simple bliss they all want us to share.