by Bea Willis
Sundae + Mr. Goessl is a Washington state-based duo that has been storming the country with their delightful brand of countrified jazz, melding the likability of Americana, pop, and country music, and giving it a hybrid of jazz rhythms that will illuminate any music lovers hankering.
“Stardust,” is given a 50s nostalgia, of wholesomeness of Ozzie and Harriet, who consequently had two very talented sons, David and Ricky Nelson, the latter Nelson after learning his sweetheart had a huge crush on Elvis Presley quickly announced he was cutting a record too (though he was not), with the help of his father, Nelson (Ricky that is) landed his first record deal with Verve Records, which due to royalty disputes was short lived. Not to worry, a 5-year deal was landed with Imperial Records. It would be ultra-cool to hear this duo record “Be-bop Baby” a hit for Nelson. Now that we have skipped down memory lane, my main point is, the duo consisting of Kate Voss (Sundae) and Jason Goessl, the other namesake in the duo, has a retro cool hipster vibe about them, choosing tunes that truly suit the vibe of their vintage presentation, that slants the twang and swing of their latest release When You’re Smiling.
In keeping with the hipster vibe they reach deep into 1926 and pull out “My Blue Heaven.” It became a huge hit for crooner Gene Austin, accompanied by the Victor Orchestra as directed by Nat Shilkret; it charted for 26 weeks, stayed at number one for 13, and sold over five million copies becoming one of the bestselling singles of all time. Sundae + Mr. Goessl give a sunny treatment, with Goessl’s nimble guitar accompaniment, Voss is playful, pouty and buoyant in her vocal phrasing, and we get to hear her smart skills on melodica as she and Goessl create a delightful version of this classic tune.
Sundae + Mr. Goessl have the hook, they have created an engaging authentic sound and are true to who they are, you can feel it in the notes and as you listen you can hear the smile within Voss’ voice. Its great to see two people out there spreading good old-fashioned music, with their own stamp.
Tracks to sample first: “Stardust,” “My Blue Heaven” and “S’wonderful.” The song to take a chance on is “Caravan.”