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Mike West

 

Mike WestMike West 16 Easy Songs for Drill and Banjo
-- Dirty Linen, December '99/January '00 #85

Mention the name Mike West in New Orleans and you're likely to get smirks, rolling eyes and even heads shaking in disbelief. West warrants all that, which makes him one of the wackiest, most demented people ever to play acoustic music. No doubt his latest will elicit more of the same this time as banjo-meister West and ethereal vocalist Myshkin push the envelope further. There are hilarious satires about throwing your trash on the lawn for a yard sale, a portrayal of a jaded, homophobic bartender, and an attempt to figure out what a charango is, only to be summed up as "a road kill with strings." And that's the gonzo side. The poignant side covers reflections at a wake; the disturbing side looks at bizarre family situations that literally make your skin crawl off your arms. And somehow West always succeeds at making you laugh until you cry or cry until you laugh. It's interesting visiting West's world, but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

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