Listening to the Mad Ripple, a.k.a. Jim Walsh's latest CD is almost exactly like sitting in at one of his storied hootenanies: Walsh is center stage, surrounded by beautiful women and lifelong friends. His voice rings out, brash and well worn. His lyrics are veracious and, of course, given his history as a longtime music writer, are positioned in beautiful arrangements, flowing like prose and dancing above choruses of violins, banjos, acoustic guitars, and backing harmonies.
Walsh will release his latest collection of songs, Her Tattoos Could Sail Ships, tonight at Sauce. And while the album is a fantastic and remarkably accurate document of the Mad Ripple's live persona, his is the kind of music that is best enjoyed in a live setting -- tonight's CD-release show is bound to be a celebratory and memorable hootenanny.
The Mad Ripple will play at 10 p.m. with a full backing band (photographer Tony Nelson on guitar, Tuesday's Robot leader Rick Robot on bass, Pete Christensen on keys, Eliza Blue on violin/banjo, and Andrew Android drums), sandwiched between sets by longtime hoot participants John Swardson and Brianna Lane. Tonight's show is 21+ and free.