Today I want to compare and contrast two songs. They are by the same band and are the same song. The only notable difference is the addition of a band member, which I believe greatly enhances the sound of the piece. I have actually included this song’s older version in a blog post before. The song is entitled, “Don’t Mean A Thing” (though confusingly, the two videos of the song present us with different song titles). The band whose song this is, is none other than a favorite of mine, Uncle Lucius.
So first, we have the earlier video recording of the song in question. This version was recorded in late 2008 and has become one of my favorite songs that the band does. Unfortunately, the quality of the video isn’t as great as the sound quality, because we can only see three of the four band members. Nonetheless, the song is catchy and fun:
Three and a half years later, the same song re-surfaces onto YouTube. The video is more clear and we can now see the whole band, including its newest member, keyboardist, Jon Grossman (though he is almost cut out on the right edge of the screen). Grossman is what makes things interesting. True, the sound isn’t very pronounced, but his flirty keyboard playing, produces a lovely addition to the tune. I love the added layer of music that Grossman’s playing adds to the song, creating more depth and making the piece more interesting.
This is just one example where Grossman’s mastering of Southern keys playing pushes Uncle Lucius’ music further. As a fellow pianist, I can totally appreciate Grossman’s talented keys playing. I find it intriguing that Grossman is able to add his instrument to the band’s already full sound. I think it’s neat that the band is able to adapt so easily with the addition of the sound of the keyboard, without changing the sound of the band. That’s why Jon Grossman is such a versatile player and valued member of the group. And just for fun- here is a video of Grossman on the keys enjoying a rather fun solo: