The Kropotkins
"Portents of Love"

The Kropotkins - Portents of Love
Ship my order to:

$13.99 | CD | Catalog #MUL030

The Memphis / New York punk-Delta blues band traverses the American songbook with Bill Monroe, Mickey & Sylvia, George Gershwin, the Carter Family, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and cockeyed new tunes. Co-produced by Bob Neuwirth.


1. The Moon’s Already Down (Dave Soldier)
2. Fred Goes Out at Night (Vince Bell, Fred McDowell, Soldier, Velvette)
3. On the Wall (Louise Johnson)
4. The Stars of Country Music Greet the Spring (Dave Soldier)
5. No Good Lover (Mickey & Sylvia)
6. Cricket Blues (Dave Soldier)
7. Clara (Dubose Heyward & George Gershwin)
8. Stoney Lonesome (Bill Monroe)
9. Whippoorwill Blues (Dave Soldier)
10. This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
11. Scriptures (Charley Burnham)
12. Deep Water (Alex Greene & Lorette Velvette)
13. Pale Wildwood Flower (Joseph Philbrick Webster)

Lorette Velvette vocals, guitar (2)
Charlie Burnham vocals, violin (3-11), mandocello (13) mandolin (12) guitar (11)
harmonica (2)
Dave Soldier vocals (9), banjo, violin (8) guitar (1, 4, 6, 10) piano (13)
Dog (Mark Deffenbaugh) guitar (2-9, 12), bass (6), fife (1, 13)
Alex Greene piano, bass (4, 5, 7, 12) piano (3, 5, 6, 10, 12) organ (11) bass drum
(1, 2, 8, 9, 13)
Jonathan Kane snare drum, drums, bongos (10)
Rory Young synthesizer (4), recorder (5),

Produced by Bob Neuwirth & Rory Young
Executive producer Dave Soldier
Recorded and mixed by Rory Young, Acme Studios, Mamaroneck, New York

5, 8 Songs of Universal
10 Ludlow Music
7, Chappell
1 2 4 6 9 11 Rigglius Music12 Owlet Music
13 Public

"In 1994, inspired by the fife-and-drum blues of northern Mississippi and the bluegrass inventor Bill Monroe, the iconclastic downtown composer and scientist Dave Soldier formed the Kropotkins, named after the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. While the group is conventional by the standards of some of Soldier's other projects (he once created enroumous instruments for a group of Thai elephants to play), it can nonetheless seamlessly weave a Charles Ives cover into a set of soulful, if sometimes angular, country- or blues-tinged originals. Besides Soldier, who plays violin and banjo, the sextet includes the co-founder Jonathan Kane on snare drum, the Memphis-based singer Lorette Velvette, and the sweet-toned violinist and singer Charlie Burnham." - The New Yorker

"Nothing with drummer Moe Tucker, the thundergoddess behind the Velvet Underground, could be described as decorous. Her opening set of angry songs about working-class America (take that, Lou) rocks way too hard for the pretties at Joe's. In Kropotkins, Jonathan Kane joins her in an overdriven second line. Violinist Charles Burnham is a funky improviser who plays with Susie Ibarra. Dave Soldier's banjo suggests that the high lonesome sound is an overtone series generated by the open strings of the Delta bottom. Kropotkins find common ground between the non-Western tunings and African beats of the old blues and the barbaric harmonies of early minimalism. Not for nothing is their new album entitled Five Points Crawl, after the notorious downtown ghetto of the last century.

With all this formal innovation, it takes a while to realize that Kropotkins songs are real songs, originals by band members and poet James Tucker. And for a song you need what? A singer, that's right. A Memphis cohort of Alex Chilton, Lorette Velvette has been through enough traditions (rockabilly, punk, deep blues) for a lifetime. (Her three albums are anthologized on Rude Angel.) Velvette is pregnant and has checked her former trash-glam look; she might be a bit embarrassed to be singing umpteen numbers about screwing. Where Lucinda Williams's voice wins the listener in the strain—the barely hit notes, the uncertainty whether her breath will give out—Velvette wows with an iron determination to get through at all costs. Reality TV? This is reality music, man, and we need more of it. " - The Village Voice