"You're all gonna be rich, rich, rich!" proclaims vocalist Robby Schiller between songs on Blueheels' new live CD, The Only Dance You Know. Whether he was doling out Monopoly money, real cash or thousand-dollar grins when the disc was recorded in Neenah last November, you're bound to feel richer after giving it a spin.
You're bound to feel richer because listening to Dance is like getting a sampler pack of about a dozen different styles of music, all tied up in a dirty, flirty blue ribbon. In other words, the Madison band's got a knack for blending other genres into their blues-rock base when they hit the road - and doing it with personality.
Schiller's fast-talking jives on "Lion and the Lamb" suggest he's got potential as a hip-hop freestyler, the funky pop vibe of "Before the Fall" hints at Jamiroquai, "Special Sauce" kicks off with a lounge-lizard organ melody fit for an AIR album, and "Twist & Toil" features a rhythmic battle march that would work almost as well in a metal song as it does in a bluesy ode to the workingman. "Keep Your Mouth Shut" brings the set back to basics with the band's signature cocktail of guitar-driven blues, rock 'n' roll grit and many flasks of whiskey.
And while voice teachers and folks from beyond the Great Lakes region might snicker about Schiller singing through his nose, he sounds genuine - comforting, even - when sharing lyrics about messy-yet-poetic situations: untied shoes, bad moonshine and nights spent sleeping in the car. After all, it's those real-life imperfections that connect people from different walks of life, different time zones and different musical traditions as well.