Chamber Pop: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominees

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click to enlarge Chamber Pop: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominees

The Educated Guess

Imagine twelve to sixteen musicians, ranging from a trombone ensemble to a keyboardist, placed an arm's distance from one other onstage. They're clad in a palette of black-and-white -- a sea of suits. At center stage is Charlie Brumley. The 25-year-old controls the keys and sings like Randy Newman pre-Toy Story -- the Randy Newman who hasn't existed since Brumley was born. Brumley is responsible for arranging most of the Educated Guess' ingenious brand of shimmy-shake jazz, which, in addition to trombones and keyboard, features saxophones, fiddles and trumpets. Brumley and trombonists Devin LaRue, Kenny Winschel and Kenny Summers have a new project debuting June 21 at Off Broadway. When asked for a hint, they'll say only, "Chrono Man Lives." -Blair Stiles

click to enlarge Chamber Pop: Meet the 2013 RFT Music Award Nominees

The Great Grandfathers

Lucas Prize came out of nowhere last year with an album called St. Anthony's Fire, played a few shows, then promptly disappeared. Damn him for that. Recorded with Prize's brother Trevor, as well as Eric Enger and Ryan Adams (late of Gentleman Auction House), Fire is so ebullient and pop savvy that the joy practically pours out of your speaker cones when you play it. The title track in particular has so many great bits -- an organ breakdown, super-fuzzy bass, falsetto vocals -- that you wonder why Prize stuffed them all into a single song. One can only hope for more shows -- and a new record -- in the near future. -Christian Schaeffer

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