The Skiffle Players comprised by Cass McCombs, Neal Casal, Farmer Dave Scher, Dan Horne and Aaron Sperske have announced the release of the 'Piffle Sayers EP,' due July 20 on West Coast independent record label, Spiritual Pajamas. The seven-track collection is drawn from the same sessions that produced the band's 2016 debut album, 'Skifflin',' an instant classic upon its release that quickly became a record store rare find. The first single "Jonny Todd," a jaunty rendition of the classic English folk song, is released today to stream and share, while pre-order on limited edition vinyl and digital formats is available now. The 'Piffle Sayers EP' also foreshadows a new full-length studio album that the band is putting finishing touches on for Fall 2018 release.
Supergroup, side project, high-school-garage-band-of-brothers-from-other-mothers (whatever it's called), The Skiffle Players formed to play a one off show in Big Sur and had so much fun, they're still at it. On guitar, Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles around the Sun) sticks mostly to the acoustic allowing his elegant affinity towards melodic craft to shine. Cass McCombs' guitar wizardry and raw, mostly first take vocals bring the core of each song to the forefront. Farmer Dave, the official leader and founder of the band, is the glue that holds the flotsam together on keyboard, lap steel and harmonium. Dan Horne (Circles Around the Sun, Jonathan Wilson) on bass and Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks) on percussion are so intertwined it sounds like each of them are playing drums and bass at the same time.
The initial idea for The Skiffle Players was to make "street music"—essentially busking, singing for one's supper, entertaining the passers-by and making them dance all the way home. The band quickly realized, however, they were weaving some kind of new folk fabric from various threads of tradition. Indeed, care-free readings of varied material like "Stagolee," "Slippin' and Slidin'" and "John O'Dreams" from the 'Piffle Sayers EP' attest to this notion.
The term "skiffle" itself has origins in Memphis jug band music of the 1920s. It seems to have emigrated to England with the US soldiers during World War 2, and was taken up by a new generation beginning with Lonnie Donegan and ending with The Quarrymen aka The Beatles. The term then somewhat disappeared. The Skiffle Players, however unintentionally, revive it, but via their own West Coast ethos. No rules. No song off-limits. Everybody sings. No idea is silly enough, for sometimes the adsurd is the very device for a cataclysmic rift in the fabric of sound. Of course, it can also end in hilarious catastrophe, and often does—a necessary cosmic, comedic consequence to this fearless approach. Like Kurt Vonnegut and Bo Diddley sharing a surfboard, something interesting is going to happen.
PIFFLE SAYERS EP
1. Glow In The Dark Scratch And Sniff
2. Jonny Todd
1. A Blessing in Disguise
2. Slippin' and Slidin'
3. John O'Dreams
Out July 20 via Spiritual Pajamas
on Limited Edition Vinyl and Digital Formats