Jeffrey Lewis – Works by Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010 Edition) (out 13th April via Don Giovanni)

Jeffrey Lewis – Works by Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010 Edition) (out 13th April via Don Giovanni)

Best leave it to the artist Jeffrey Lewis to introduce the releasem”This recent album I’ve recorded, is all covers of Tuli (Fugs) Kupferberg songs. Tuli died in 2010, and every year since then I’ve organized an annual tribute concert in which I pick an assortment of Tuli songs and I assemble a band of musicians to play with me (sometimes including Peter Stampfel, appropriate ‘cuz he was in the original Fugs lineup with Tuli in 1965). Each year I tell myself I’ll get around to making a proper recording of some of these songs, in a studio, but it has taken till now for me to have enough time to get around to it. So here’s the result, which is 15 of the songs, some of which are known from Fugs albums, others from Tuli solo albums and obscure side projects, others from Tuli’s published books of never-recorded poems/lyrics which I’m here setting to music, and others are just from personal cassettes and demos and stuff like that, never publicly released.”.

As most might conclude, the Tuli songs shine up well through more modern recording techinques and modern production and interpretations. The opening in parricular draws attention entitled ‘What Are You Going To Do After The Orgy?’ like the ramshakle accompaniment to ‘Not Enough Loving’ which rightly or wrongly you imagine came from Vietnam days and protest followed by more upfront ‘This Is A Hit Song’ also works well.

On occasion the loosely constructed vocalisations, feel too Aron jumper clad busker night, 2 pints in, for others that’s the charm. But I am starting to think of camp fires, when everyone knows the song, arrested by the potent ‘The And Song’.

As a tribute to the work Tuli Kupferberg the album is a success of appeal yes, not for everyone though. 7.7/10

Simon Anders

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Jeffrey Lewis – Works by Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010 Edition) (out 13th April via Don Giovanni)