Second Helping
Pop 'N' Fresh

by Jason Hoffman Second Helping
After winning the Whammy award for Best Blues Band multiple years in a row (a whopping six to date) the talented quintet known as Pop ‘N’ Fresh decided it was high time to release a studio album of original songs to accompany their debut album, a live recording offered a few meals ago. As Pop ‘N’ Fresh’s marketing material cleverly involves a menu that allows venue owners to hand-select which songs they want played, the album is titled Second Helping.

The album rips open with Ted Brown, or Pop, playing a raucous blues guitar on “Blues Callin’,” a song which is recorded very loose and fun, embodying a live feel and capturing the fun energy of this band. Son Travis Brown uses his upright bass to kick start the foot tapping “Woman Like You,” while horns add extra spice to the meal and an intense yet quirky guitar solo rounds out this near rocker. “Hot Rod Woman” encompasses a bit of 50s rock in the form of a rousing piano (provided by Steve Jugloff) and fast tempo designed to lure people onto the dance floor. The accordion solo in “Grandpa Song” won over this reviewer, although the backwoods charm of this crowd-pleasing Muppets-sound-alike didn’t hurt either. A wailing sax and background vocals performing their best “doo wop wop wop” give “I Wanna Be Your Pet” a sunny disposition, and a tasteful guitar solo is a highlight in the burning “Lounge Lizard Blues.” The album winds up on the funky side with “You Know Things,” giving drummer Jeremy Sells a chance to flex his muscles and beat the kit. Throughout the album Pamela Brown adds her zesty autoharp in well measured pinches for maximum flavor to these cheery blues selections.

The 11 supremely well-recorded tracks on Second Helping will surely feed their growing fan base. Each track is full of the warm family vibe and hearty humor that followers find inviting. Belly up to your local Wooden Nickel for carry-out options or check out www.popnfreshband.com if you’d rather dine at home.

Copyright 2005 Ad Media Inc.