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Two Man Gentlemen Band make it fast and fun

A review and photos of Two Man Gentlemen Band's swingin' show

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Two Man Gentlemen Band, Noodle McDoodle
The Pour House
May 18

Who says you need a full band with amps or a fancy DJ with a PA to have a happenin' dance party? A gaggle of swing dancers and music fans turned up at the Pour House for two sets of vintage swing and vaudevillian string music from two acoustic acts. It was a dizzy and hip scene.

Although he wasn't listed on the bill, local musician Noodle McDoodle, of the popular ukulele-based troupe the V-Tones, kicked off the night with a lively set of Hawaiian songs, ragtime tunes, and swingin' original ditties. He looked like character from a old cinematic music. He sang like a hummingbird. His rhythmic strumming style provided a fin dance beat for the dapper dancers in the front row who seemed giddy about showing off their new steps.

Standing in close proximity at center stage, Manhattan's Two Man Gentlemen Band — a quirky acoustic string duo comprised of singer/guitarist Andy Bean and singer/bassist/kazoo player Fuller "Councilman" Condon — looked even more dashing and debonair as they started their headlining set. Bean sported an impressive pencil-thin 'stache and an antique six-string. Donning a grey suit and red bow tie, Condon played the straight man to Bean's more animated emcee character.

The Two Man Gentlemen Band plowed through very upbeat set of their own material, much of which came from their latest collection, Dos Amigos, Una Fiesta. They were amped-up, too. Some of their fastest tempos tested the physical limits of rapid-fire strumming and plucking.

Old fan faves, like "Fancy Beer," "Drip Dryin'," and "I Can Get Drunk and I Can Sing Songs" went over well, as did "William Howard Taft," their amusing ode to the plump U.S. president on the album Heavy Petting. I was hoping for a rendition of "Franklin Pierce," a new presidential romp from Dos Amigos, Una Fiesta. A jumpin' tune with the great refrain of, "You know there ain't nothing funny about the death of Franklin Pierce," it would rounded out the jazzy set perfectly. It's doubtful any of the dancin' fools twirling around the room minded the omission.

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