Gene Turonis aka Gene D Plumber
ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS
Bar None Records
An Indefinable Joy From Start to Finish.
Gene Turonis has been a cornerstone of Hoboken life for over thirty years primarily as Gene D Plumber by day and ‘The Singing Plumber’ by night; and only now after finally retiring from the day job at the tender age of 72 is he releasing his debut album of original songs and a couple of his favourite cover versions too.
Normally I’d run a mile from such a record; but the tongue in cheek title track All The Pretty Girls opens the disc and, do you know what? It’s really quite good in a laid back Willie Nelson meets Maurice Chevalier kind of way. An odd combination? Yes; but there’s more than a hint of Willie’s natural ‘rasp’ and twinkle in the eye in the way Gene delivers the song over a neatly strummed acoustic and a swaying Accordion played by Charlie Giordano; which made me think of the legendary French Actor.
When you hear Turonis’ own songs like Been a Fool All My Life and Diamonds As Big as Potatoes you can’t help but smile at the self-depreciating and well constructed stories; but you just know he’s gonna get the gal in the end……hopefully.
As a jobbing musician it’s difficult to pigeon -hole the Singing Plumber’s ‘style’ as he slips in a Calypso tune on Let’s Make a Deal then follows it with a Western Swing cover of Clarence Gatemouth Brown’s Going Back To Louisiana and later drops in the Cajun-Lite She Belongs To Someone, without ever confusing the listener.
Then there are two George Jones covers thrown in for good measure too; neither of which I recognised, his ‘plumbing’ signatune Things Have Gone to Pieces and Always Get Lucky, which is a sweet down home/back-porch Country tune, that was an early contender for Favourite Track status a couple of days ago. Then he closes the record with his own ode George….George Jones, George Jones which must surely be a showstopper when played live.
Which all only leaves me to crown I Like It Like That as RMHQ Favourite Track. A danceable uptempo jaunty and professionally ‘sloppy’ Cajun and New Orleans influenced happy-clappy sing-along belter, which is ideal for a Saturday night anywhere people gather.
I certainly don’t expect this album to sell in the millions or even win Awards; but it’s been a joy from start to finish every time I’ve played it; and that can never be a bad thing.
Released 11th May 2018