What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? will perform at Dixon Place for a CD release musical circus will include boylseque, animation, trapeze, and videos all illustrating the lyrics and meanings behind the songs, with lead singer, 3rian King’s gender-defying voice scaling the walls between Antony Hegarty and Aretha Franklin. What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? delivers the gospel on subjects from love and identity to sex and murder. Guest highlights include, boylesque from Matt Knife and friends from Homo Erectus, aerial by Eileen Little (Fight or Flight), and "The Ladies' Tree" a new animated film by Award-winning filmmaker, Ruth Lingford, for the band's song about Joan of Arc. The new CD “Little Bit Of Blue” co-produced with Tony Goddess (Papas Fritas) showcases the breadth of this ten-piece ensemble, which blends soul, R&B, and cabaret with baroque and medieval flair.
What Time Is it, Mr. Fox? originally formed in 2005 as a trio with 3rian King on voice, guitar and piano; Nathan Cohen on violin and trumpet, and Mike Leggio (Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys) on upright bass. The band quickly became a staple in Boston’s cabaret and burlesque scene, adding drummer Nate Greenslit (HUMANWINE), organist Lori Perkins (Seks Bomba), and five female back-up singers affectionately known as The Furies. In 2008, New Orleans soul legend, Irma Thomas, covered their song “Cold Rain” on her Grammy-nominated CD, “Simply Grand,” with the track earning high praise from Rolling Stone, USA Today, and The Village Voice. Mr. Fox’s own version of “Cold Rain” is featured on the new album. The act consistently sells out venues like Club Passim and Oberon in Cambridge MA and The Duplex in NYC, earning the Critic’s Pick in Time Out NYC. Adam Feldman of Time Out NYC advises, “Catch him as his star rises,” while the Boston Herald declares that the “Time has come for Mr. Fox.”
What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? began recording the new album back 2011, starting with more than 25 songs. In a concerted effort to retain the vitality of their concert performances, many of the instruments were recorded together live.
A string section, children’s choir, accordionist, and singing saw player add the cinematic sense of drama and lushness to the album.
The title track “Little Bit Of Blue” opens with an a cappella version of the 18th century French nursery song “Au clair de la lune” sung by a children’s chorus, laying the unexpected foundation for a soul/R&B anthem in the tradition of “Stand By Me.” Lead singer and songwriter, 3rian King explains this unlikely pairing was a natural process,
“’Au clair de la lune’ was the song used in the very first recording of the human voice. The lyrics refer to Pierrot, the traditional sad clown. He tries to win the hand of Columbine by offering her moonlight in his hand, but she rejects him for being a dreamer. Something about that image struck me as being about genuine emotion and connection, so one day I quite spontaneously began singing these new words over the French melody in a soul blues style. The resulting song is really about remembering that feeling vulnerable can be a good thing; it opens you up.”
The first single off the album is “Humpty Dumpty Girl” which is currently receiving radio play on Boston radio. This track tells the tale of a woman who is losing her identity, constantly breaking into pieces that are reassembled into something unrecognizable. It’s a commentary on celebrity, since the character in the song struggles to meet the expectations and desires of a scrutinizing public.
The third track, “The Ladies’ Tree” sounds like a war song from the woods of medieval France, which is fitting since the lyrics are sung from the viewpoint of Joan of Arc awaiting execution. According to historical records, the heroine was repeatedly questioned about a famous tree in her village which young girls used to dance around. The song contrasts this innocent image with the hypocrisy and corruption surrounding her trial. The song has been turned into a short animated film by Ruth Lingford, professor of animation at Harvard University.
The complete track listing:
1. Little Bit Of Blue
2. Humpty Dumpty Girl
(single available at whattimeisitmrfox.bandcamp.com)
3. The Ladies’ Tree
4. Deep Waters
7. You Must Be Wrong For Me
8. My Valhalla
9. Paper Airplanes
10. Little Dead Rotting Wood
12. Cold Rain
13. Wrong Boy
3rian King – voice, piano, guitar
Nathan Cohen – violin, trumpet
Mike Leggio – upright bass
Nate Greenslit – drums
Lori Perkins – Hammond organ, piano
The Furies – background vocals
WHEN: March 9, 2013 10pm
WHO: What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? With special guest, Chelsea Berry
WHERE: Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St. NYC. www.dixonplace.org
COST: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9754949 All ages $12 for members, $10 students/seniors $15 at door.
CD RELEASE: On March 19th, 2013 the album will be available for download on iTunes and whattimeisitmrfox.bandcamp.com and CD available for purchase at band concerts and on CDBaby.com.
For more information about What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?