Cardy Quintero

Best known as the bassist for the Blues Notions, Kansas City’s Cardy Quintero looks like a Jerry Garcia clone on the cover of his solo debut Dance, You Mud Turtles. Adding to the artwork’s cuddly Earth Day appeal are inset photos of the titular turtles two-stepping, produced through the magic of photo illustration. The album contains a suitably ’60s mix of swirling psychedelic folk (complete with what sounds like a choir of kazoos), bouncy boogie blues and hippie honky-tonk. Quintero plays all instruments impressively, though in a fit of whimsy, he creates in his liner notes an enigmatic homeless rhythm section called “the Cargo Brothers.” And while the tunes are twirl-friendly, the lyrics will definitely be a bummer for the love-me-I’m-a-liberal set. When Quintero sings smells so bad/no one uses any soap, he’s not describing a Phish concert. Rather, he’s declaring America itself as a stinkhole due to hate-crime legislation that condones abomination. Later, women who kill their young, the “pedophiles” and “alcoholics” he dubs day-care frolics, the “Oneworldism” idealists who have created a rainbow prison, and even Estée Lauder end up on the fightin’ side of the sunny-sounding singer. As Deadheads don’t usually dig arch-conservative troubadours, and rigid right-wingers seldom open anything that comes in a tie-dyed package, Mud Turtles might have trouble finding an audience despite its melodic merits.

Categories: Music