The El Orbits (Freedom)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., April 14, 2000
The El Orbits
(Freedom)Sahm meets Sinatra. Bingo. David Beebe's parlor game lines 'em up straight across the top, diagonally, and down the side, like empty gin bottles back of the bar. Just as the Continental Club proudly flaunts its red velour drapes, The El Orbits revels in the dim light of Fifties hollow-body guitar, soft cymbal caresses, and hipster jargon. Ashtrays and cocktails. Frank's "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)," Catherine's "I Will Wait for You," Duke's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "I'm Beginning to See the Light." A Houston Highball. 'Course Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" will find anyone short of an iron constitution wretching out by the dumpster, but "Shout, Shout, Knock Yourself Out" calls you back inside for more finger snapping and toe tapping. Schtick as ancient as that of another H-town trio, but Beebe's sauce is smooth as the sand on your tongue tomorrow mourning, and keeps you coming back for another round like it or lump it. Given the current state of genre gentility like this, one might be better off with some home-brewed hooch instead, Tony Bennett on the hi-fi, or say Johnny Mathis by the fire, but there's something to be said for that hint of Texas Tornado rasp Beebe is so naturally blessed with. Try as you may, there's no getting away from The El Orbits once Beebe and company have called your number.