Durwood Douche – Big, Banned & Blue: The Original Underground Sound Of Forties Clubland [Roadrunner, 1999]

Durwood Douche - Big banned blueOn a dark and crisp winter afternoon with snow on the ground in Amsterdam, a rare sight at Christmas time, I headed to the record shop to buys gifts. I inevitably started looking at stuff I wanted as well when all of a sudden, I thought I heard the word ‘fucking’ in the store’s music. No, they weren’t playing hip hop, it was nice, smooth jazz. I continued rummaging through the CDs and I then swear I heard the word ‘pussy’ in a non-feline context. I stared up at the speakers, then at the girl behind the counter who grinned at me. I walked up to her and she already knew what I was going to ask, like a bartender at a speakeasy. She told me “I play this at my grandmother’s house because she doesn’t understand English and likes jazz, so we all have a good laugh”.

Big Banned & Blue is a collection of swinging, suave dirty songs from 1999, rooted in clean-sounding, straight-up-no-chaser forties underground club music, which is one big load of hooey, attributed to Durwood Douche (pronounced Dou-ché), the pseudonym of late Los Angeles jazz pianist, Dick Shreve. Recorded in Germany, the album is available on America’s Roadrunner Records and is relatively easy to find. Now picture yourself with a glass of scotch in a Post War dive listening to worn out singers go on about ‘doing the deed’.

The liner notes are a great read if you like storytelling, because information is so passé. Only people in the know can say for sure who actually sang on this album (there’s guys and girls), and believe it or not, you won’t give a damn once you start listening to the music, as it will suck you in like a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Now pour yourself another scotch.

It makes a great Christmas gift too, as the album features a Christmas song entitled “The Christmas Gift”. Watch the faces of the men around you when they realise that the gift in question is a well-deserved bout of fellatio. Not naughty enough? The title track “Why Me God” is a female lament about not ‘getting any’, while “Front Naughty Nocturne” is a swinging track, praising someone’s female parts. There’s enough material for the boys too, with “I’m In A Pickle (And Vice-a-Versa)” and “My Most Favorite Things (I Can’t Keep My Mitts Off Your Tits)”.

Some of the music is also pure country music, but is nowhere near as good as the jazzy bits. There are also some songs with references to donkey droppings and wind, and fake live club tracks with dirty limericks, bad puns, as well as a hilarious imitation of Marlene Dietrich who sounds like American broadcast journalist Barbara Walters with her famous rounded ‘r’.

Big Banned & Blue is a fun, dirty comedy album that comes with the warming “The songs on this album contain explicit lyrics sung with a style and grace that you may find shocking.” And it’s oh so true.

Natasha Cloutier

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