Trouble in Paradise
The original working title of Two Many Banjos sophomore release 'Trouble In Paradise' was to be '33' and in some ways this is perhaps a more accurate description of where the songs came from. Most of the material on the CD, written in the weeks leading up to Marc Gartman's thirty third birthday, deal with the fear of getting older. It also repeatedly asks one of the most difficult questions of all, 'what have I done with my life?' The album itself was recorded live at Sparta Sound in Northern Minnesota with Rich Mattson (Minnesota music award producer of the year) at the board. While the record definitely sounds like Two Many Banjos it sets itself apart from their first release in that most of these songs are much more autobiographical than it's predecessor. Whether dealing with the bitter results of alcohol on a relationship ("Trouble in Paradise") or the effects many women have had on the singer since grade school ("White Altars") this CD is for the end of an evening, drifting off to sleep with thoughts of the day floating around in one's head. 'Trouble In Paradise' is not all a downbeat affair of course. There are optimistic numbers including Dave Carroll's (Trampled By Turtles) blistering tour-de-force 'New Shoes' and Gartman's 'What Am I Doing Now?' a song that asks the question how our actions effects those around us. Percussionist Lane Prekker (Charlie Parr) shines on the spoons on this song in particular. Perhaps the most emotionally complicated songs on the record come at the end with the one-two punch of 'As Honest as me' and 'An honest reply'. It's unclear whether the protagonist in the song is angry with himself, someone else or the situation all together but it's heartfelt, complicated and true. The final song especially is where fiddle player Jillian Rae Lantry really radiates adding dazzling string work. The extraordinary players on the CD have been together for less than a year but already sound like veteraned pros. With Jillian Rae on the Fiddle, Karl Anderson on upright bass and Lane Prekker on washboard banjoists Gartman and Carroll are in safe hands whether live or in the studio. An inspired few months for the band they have already recorded their third CD 'Give Me Time' and hope to have it released Fall 2008.