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Oh! Betty | I'm Still Standing

album review by John Powell

Oh! Betty | I'm Still Standing

It’s one thing to make Country Western Music for the non-Country Western loving music listener, but it’s another to salt it with enough self-parody that it’s not too outrageous to not take seriously. Oh! Betty is serious about their humor. “I pray each day to Jesus/to ease my cares and woes,” Julie Canepa sings on the title track, “Until I dropped my Bible/and broke two of my toes.”

Made up of Julie and Tim Hartnett on guitar and a series of guest musicians, Oh! Betty’s delicious little EP I’m Still Standing is old timey blues and country, but, as said, with a love of word smithery and well earned tackiness.

Take the lovable “State of Emergency”, a biographical narrative about a woman that meets all these really cool guys with awesome cars and money, and then she gets locked up. Things keep getting worse until the inmate’s cellmate becomes a bedmate, and the song ends, “We’re going legit/but first we’re going to Vermont/where we’re going to tie the knot.” Oh, love.

Then there’s “Rollin’ Pin”, complete with slide and Elvis-style bass. “Cristco makes the flakiest piecrust you have ever seen,” it goes. Yes, those are the lyrics. “Baking pies is my heart’s desire.” The song is fun, fresh, and the humor is true to honoring pie and cooking. It’s sincere, and that’s not an easy task, but Oh! Berry do it seamlessly.

The ultimate song, however, is “Martha Stewart Christmas”, a jazzy break from country, with horns swirling beneath swung time drums and Julie singing, “You must have heard I did time upstate/I got to teach a class on macramé.” It’s more fun than a Christmas song should be. “I’m going to make the White House out of ginger bread.” And then, “I got a half a shot in each cup.”

For an EP, Oh! Betty has shown they’re the sorts to make fun music that’s witty and endearing. The cover of the EP has Julie and Tim looking pensive leaning against a truck and the back cover is a pie, which suits them well, as I’m Still Standing is delicious.

Bottom line: Country for the non-country people, blues for the comedians, and a lesson in a good time.


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