The Chaps: Don’t Worry ‘Bout Your Age
By Tim Gruar
If you’re familiar with Wellington band Hot Club Sandwich, then you’ll know all about the lightly jazz-tinged, humorous banter songs that make up their popular repertoire. The Chaps are like their deep southern incarnation, or possibly given their age and experience, they may have begot the former! Either way they’ve have been crafting an alternative to the usual jangly Dunedin sound for over 20 years. Influenced by bluegrass, swing, calypso and folk John Dodd, Hyram Ballard, Marcus Turner and Mike Moroney have pooled talents to produce a deliciously vivid collection of café tunes. Title track Don’t Worry ‘Bout Your Age is an instantly likeable, cute lil’ ditty with some smooth fiddle, courtesy of Jane Clarke, and cheeky lyrics setting the tone for the rest of the album. But what surely stands out is the crispy clean guitar picking, tremolos and arpeggios especially on tunes like the bluesy Mess Around and Hey Baba Rhubarb and the superb, hook-laden Ain’t That The Truth. Down at Otago Uni Albany St. studios producer John Egenes took care to put out a superior product, close as one can imagine to their intimate live sound.