New York City's Best Dressed Two Man Band returns with a lively volume of new songs! Set for release on Valentine's Day 2008, Heavy Petting features eleven original compositions and one traditional Irish romp, all played with the Two Man Gentlemen Band's signature blend of sophisticated silliness.
Performing with plectrum banjo, string bass, kazoos & snare drum, the gentlemen blend Vaudeviliian banjo struming and bouncy swing rhythms with melodies that woud've felt at home on tin pan alley. The lyrics address the pressing issues of the day - unicycling, kazoo technique, prohibition, gentlemanliness, William Howard Taft, etc. - while striking the perfect gentlemanly balance between naughtiness and decorum.
Recorded in old fashioned style - live to 2-inch tape - Heavy Petting captures the infectious engery of the Two Man Gentlemen Band's live show, which has wowed audiences across the country.
Produced by Richard Morris
Engineered, mixed by Halsey Quemere and Richard Morris at Serious Business Music, NYC
Mastered by Richard Morris at Scott Hull Mastering
The Two Man Gentlemen Band are joined on this recording by Travis Harrison (rhythm kit) and Justin Smith (fiddle, tracks 7, 12).
Please enjoy this video for the song, "William Howard Taft:"
"Overall, Heavy Petting’s success lies in its being a refreshingly crude batch of Americana that buzzes with enough overtly intellectual humor and raucous energy to make even the coldest of hipsters crack a smile. It’s a record that’s completely unpretentious and, consequently, enormous fun."
-Spencer Tricker, PopMatters
"There’s a point at which parody, tribute and originality converge, and TMGB hit that sweet spot with both pinpoint accuracy and reckless abandon. Most of the album is laugh-out-loud funny (“William Howard Taft/had a great big belly and great big thighs/that slapped together when he walked by”) whether you know your early 20th century American history or not, and balances the band’s comically proper demeanor with just a touch of sideswipe innuendo; I’ll leave it up to you to decide if the title “When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo” involves more than one variety of humming...Endlessly charming." Metro Spirit - Augusta, GA
"My favorite band this week, though, has to be The Two Man Gentlemen Band. They love kazoos! And banjos! I played their new CD Heavy Petting while cleaning the house last weekend, and it was spotless in record time."
-Whitney Matheson, USA Today, Pop Candy Blog
"Heavy Petting is romping, outstanding fun. It plays like a party, and even the sappy love songs are sonic celebrations with lyrics like, "My love for you is like the square root of two / That's a nerdy way of flirting, but it's true." About.com
"Every once in a while we get hit with a band that is coming from a completely different direction...and The Two Man Gentlemen Band is just that. Rather than present the normal samey-sounding pop influenced by artists from the 1950s onward...these guys create music that is influenced by musicians that came decades before rock and roll was even around. Heavy Petting features super happy, peppy, toe-tapping banjo singalongs that are a pure and sheer delight. These guys are treading in waters tested by The Kinks in the 1970s when they injected their music with similar influences. Responses were mixed to that era of The Kinks' music...and our guess is that the general public will probably be just as confused by Heavy Petting. In our little corner of the goddamn universe, we are always in search of something new and refreshing. As a result, in our case Heavy Petting is just what the doctor ordered. Twelve clever cuts here that are bound to please discerning listeners. Killer cuts include "William Howard Taft," "The Big Strong Man," "Dippin' Sauce," and "They Can't Prohibit Love!" Great stuff, highly recommended. BIG FUN. (Rating: 5+++" BabySue.com
"So, should the thought of kazoos, banjos and tongue-in-cheek lyrics appeal to you, give this album a chance. I did, and have had a smile on my face all day because of it...100% pure fun concentrate" NineBullets
"ONE OF THE BEST FOLK SONGS OF 2008: 'A Gentleman Knows How to Love.' Two Man Gentlemen Band is one of the best new groups coming out of the East Coast old timey scene these days, and their kazoo-driven vaudevillian old timey record Heavy Petting is full of great songs. This one, however, comes across as somewhat of an anthem for the band. It's impossible to not get your toes tapping to this tune." About.com, Kim Ruehl
"One of the more surreal moments I’ve experienced in the last year or so was seeing two adult men dressed in full 1920s period garb, smiling broadly and playing Big Buck Hunter in a dim-lit Brooklyn bar. I was later relieved to discover that, thankfully, I had not somehow walked into a bad music video, and that it was in fact The Two Man Gentlemen Band, a quick-witted bluegrass/swing act from Long Island with a penchant for taking episodes from US history and turning them into raunchy folk ditties.
Comprising the wry S. Andy Bean (banjo, kazoo, percussion, and vocals) and the sturdy Fuller Condon, AKA “The Councilman” (upright bass, kazoo, vocals), the Gentlemen have been taking their olde time show on the road since before the release of their eponymous 2005 debut. In 2006, they released their sophomore effort, the aptly titled Great Calamities, which included songs like “The Hindenburg Disaster” and “The War of Northern Aggression”. This month sees the unveiling of their third full-length to date, Heavy Petting.
Petting finds the Gents playing mostly up-tempo, jazz-inflected numbers that once again use subjects of US history (as well as popular recreation, food, and musical instruments) as extended metaphors for love, sex, and death.
Hearkening back to vaudeville and the comic song tradition, tunes like “William Howard Taft” and “They Can’t Prohibit Love” could easily have been written in the ‘20s or ‘30s, and, for the most part, it’s this masterful pastiche that makes The Two Man Gentlemen Band the riot that they are both onstage and on record.
“Dippin’ Sauce” and “When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo” are drenched in (rather obvious) sexual innuendo, while “The Big Strong Man” is a rendition of a traditional Irish song that tells of a Paul Bunyan/John Henry-type figure (“He drank all the water in the sea / and he walked all the way to Italy”). “On the Badminton Court” boasts the hilarious refrain, “You spoke vulgar language / Here’s my retort / Gonna smack your shuttlecock around that badminton court.” It’s a rousing bunch of tunes, the kind you can twirl a cane or tip a porkpie hat to.
On “The Square Root of Two”, Bean sings, “My love is like the square root of two / That’s a nerdy way to flirt but, oh, it’s true,” and this music is nerdy. Okay, maybe it’s not Weird Al, but a song like “William Howard Taft”, for instance, is definitely in the running for the kind of thing that a really awkward kid with a peach-fuzz moustache brings in to play for your high school history teacher on the day you study The Roarin’ ‘20s. The same might be said of the supremely cheesy “Unicycle Blues” (“You took my heart and my bicycle and you tore them both in two”), but no one who’s worth a second thought ever said being nerdy was a bad thing.
Changing tack, album closer “Newtown Creek”, is a finely crafted ballad that serves as moving proof that The Gentlemen can be serious when the mood strikes. Laying aside his usual breakneck whimsy and outside-the-carnival sense of humor, if only for a moment, Bean drawls soberly over a stately piano, “So I hurl myself into the deep / And I hold my breath until I fall asleep / The only girl I ever wanted to keep / Is lying at the bottom of Newtown Creek.”
Overall, Heavy Petting’s success lies in its being a refreshingly crude batch of Americana that buzzes with enough overtly intellectual humor and raucous energy to make even the coldest of hipsters crack a smile. It’s a record that’s completely unpretentious and, consequently, enormous fun."
-Spencer Tricker, PopMatters
"#3 record of the year---
3. The Two Man Gentlemen Band: “Heavy Petting” (Serious Business Records)
The Two Man Gentlemen Band’s high-octane romp through hot jazz, vintage rhythm & blues, old-time country, and Tin Pan Alley is unabashedly joyous. There are no heavy burdens or “woe is me” sentiments lingering in their spry little ditties to spoil your good times, as these two gentlemen have no use for cynicism. Good time guys like these have no business singing the blues anyway. While this peachy keen approach to music may sound repulsive, I would find it hard, if not downright impossible, for anyone on God’s good earth to not break out into a big toothy grin when songs such as, “When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo”, “On The Badminton Court” or the CD’s title track, “Heavy Petting” was played." Bopst, Brick Weekly
"Heavy Petting is a music you'd expect to hear from a vaudeville act of the late 1800's or a band you'd hear at a state fair from that same era. When is the last time you've heard songs that the solos were played out on kazoo? Well you'll hear them in this disc as both Bean and Condon are master kazzooists and they pull these tunes off with a fun seamless romp of simple melodies and comedic lyrics. If you have any interest in vaudeville novelty type music at all this disc is a fun enjoyable listen with a friendly sound that can only lead to a toe tappin good time." AntiMusic.com
"In the end, Heavy Petting is a great record full of brazen wit and fun folk minded songs. If you like the wit of David Sedaris and music from big band greats Benny Goodman or Gene Krupa, you will simply adore the Gents. Put on your top hat and shine your shoes on the way to pick up their album."
Corey Crossfield, StereoSubversion
"Heavy Petting, the Gentlemen’s 3rd record on Serious Business Records, features a batch of songs that are chock full of humor, heavy innuendo, wit, energy and some raucous grooves. Bean and Condon’s music is a veritable melting pot of influences seasoned with vaudeville, swing, jazz, blues and old time country. The pace on the CD runs from a trot to absolutely frenetic with some of the haughtiest kazoo solos you’ve ever heard.
The CD kicks off in high gear and sets the tone for what’s to come with a tongue in cheek ode to the United State’s largest President, “William Howard Taft,” touting “you can’t sneak nothing past William Howard Taft.” The Gentlemen have also released a video for “William Howard Taft.”
“The Square Root of Two” is an upbeat geeky romantic serenade for those who are more mathematically inclined. The wit of Andy Bean proclaiming “My love is like the square root of two written as a decimal” will surely come to be the “pop the big question” theme song for mathematicians everywhere. After one listen you’ll agree, how could it not?
“Heavy Petting” is one of the funnest albums I’ve listened to in a long time. On the first, second, heck even the third listen, the Gentlemen’s songwriting leaves you on the edge of your seat throughout the album wondering what hilarity or subtle twisted lyric is coming down the pipe. Andy Bean, the group’s main songwriter, writes lyrics so off the beaten path they are virtually cliche free.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band , at the very least, should go down in the history books as the duo who made the kazoo hip again." Bluegrass Journal
"ONE of the TOP CDs of 2008 --- Any group that releases a CD with songs such as “When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo” and “Dippin’ Sauce” will immediately get my attention. But it is the strength of the songs that will keep them on the radar.
The Two-Man Gentleman Band is a duo from New York City that perform a vaudeville style blend of hot jazz, old-time country, tin pan alley and other roots styles. They deliver a performance that despite some double entendre references is geared for a family to enjoy. Performing original songs that sound as if they were written 70 to 80 years ago, the Two-Man Gentleman band have recorded a CD that always makes me smile, tap my foot and forget about the burdens of contemporary times." Ron Olesko's Folk Music Notebook