Shots from the Tongue in Cheek's Album Release Show!

The Creative Alliance is a really special venue in Baltimore. We are so happy to be able to present one or two shows there a year. If you haven’t been, it is really the must go to venue in Baltimore. They do all kinds of wonderful music from all over the world. I like to think of myself as a world music specialist but CA is always like 5 steps ahead of me with who they are bringing to town and the different kind of music that exists out there. Whenever I’m feeling like I don’t know who to listen to, I just go to a Creative Alliance show and my mind is blown! New music, new styles, new amazing artists. Big shoutout to Josh Kohn and the Creative Alliance staff for doing excellent work for Baltimore City!!

This photo and all others in this post were shot by Jeffrey MacMillan

This photo and all others in this post were shot by Jeffrey MacMillan

Tongue in Cheek’s album release show was no exception to the beautiful programming at Creative Alliance. The first group, Nick and Luke, performed a beautiful opening set with tight vocal harmonies, amazing lead guitar playing, and beautiful original songs. Tongue in Cheek’s performance was one to remember. A great collection of rare old oddities and the debut of an original song, it was a journey I was happy to be on.

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They opened with a rubato rendition of one of my favorite old songs, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” emphasizing the key lyrics “Im forever blowing bubbles..they fly so high, they reach the sky and like my dreams they fade and die. Fortunes always hiding, i’ve looked every where, but I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air!” This rubato intro went straight into a swinging version of “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” with a mysterious second set of lyrics at the end I learned we’re from the John Denver version. So fun!

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The set continued on with favorites from their new album, “Clouds Fall Over Maine” including Because My Baby Don’t Mean Maybe Now, Old Joe’s Hitting the Jug (via Stuff Smith), and stunning rendition of Temptation Rag. Temptation Rag is one my favorite ragtime pieces, it’s minor and has 4 sections instead of the typical 3 sections with no key change. Its an interesting piece and they played it faster then I ever heard it. Man was it swinging and the ending was incredible! Listen to the record for it, truly incredible.

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After Temptation Rag, Tongue in Cheek debuted their latest original song and title track to their new album, “Clouds Fall Over Maine.” It was an interesting piece filled with raw emotion and interesting harmony. They said while they were touring Maine this past year, they never saw a cloud in the sky until the last day when they were leaving. Sure enough, it started to rain as they left the most beautiful state on the east coast. The tune reminds me a lot of the old standard “I’ll Never Be the Same” and also a Django tune called “Blue Lou".” Really a beautiful tune and you can listen to the recorded version on their website here.

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Tongue in Cheek will be celebrating the release of their album with a tour of Maine this July. They are returning to Blue Hill for the Fourth of July Pops Concert which will be an amazing time! Tour dates are below as well as more pictures from the album release show, all shot by Jeffrey MacMillan. Be sure to check out their new album in the releases section of our website.

Zach Serleth