Album Review of
Blast Off!

Written by Robert Silverstein
March 8, 2020 - 12:00am EST
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After I heard the CD of Blast-Off! I had to do a double take. Released in 2019 by Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet, Blast-Off! is greatly influenced by a range of jazz and Americana sounds and styles, yet after reading the liner notes, it all started to make sense to me. First I thought Richie's music was Tin Pan Alley retro pop but when I saw Richie’s influences, which includes eclectic exotica and lounge music artists like Raymond Scott, Esquivel, Martin Denny and even Shadows’ keyboardist Alan Hawkshaw, I began to think that Richie is truly an eclectic band leader, singer and composer. Recorded in Houston Texas, Blast-Off! features Richie performing lead vocals as well performing a range of instruments from archtop guitar and ukulele to all manners of weird percussion (ice machine and chopsticks too?). With its 17-track mix of vocal and instrumental music, Blast Off! also features contributions from a range of artists including co-composer Tony LaVorgna (alto sax, clarinet). Other musicians also add in more instruments including horns, string bass and piano. With titles like “Champagne On The Plane”, “Marinara Honeymoon” and Penguin Parade”, the sound and vision of Blast Off! is eclectic FutuRetro, yet at the same time it’s also very humorous, off-beat and above all, highly entertaining. Music fans should expect the unexpected with Blast Off! by Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet.