Hotline To The Underground: Andy Hollinger and Mr. Curt perform Bobby Hebb’s “SUNNY”

From the Kids to the Real Kids to Mr. Curt solo on Euphoria Records, the Mr. Curt catalog of music is a long and important, historic part of the New England Rock and Roll Story. His bands Pastiche and The Exis made their mark from the 1970s to the 1990s if my memory serves and somehow a couple more decades developed to the year 2021, a half a century, and welcome to his newest CD, Kernels for the Birds.

Dave Godbey from Fox Pass co-writes the first minute and two seconds entitled “In a Haze.” It’s the intro to a collection of Space Age Bachelor Pad music meets the avant-garde side of the New Wave, Track two is about breeding heroes and includes a hypnotic mantra if you will, “Ripped, Wrecked and Excited” would raise the eyebrows of Roxy Music’s Eno and Velvet Underground’s John Cale.

There are a number of college radio stations that should embrace this, most notably the Record Hospital over at WHRB, Harvard, and WZBC Newton, bringing us truly back to the future. I’m surprised Curt didn’t invite members of Wet Pizza and Free Pizza to join in on his two-minute and forty-six-second “Where’s the Pizza?” It’s innovative enough to have three bands clashing in stereo. George Harrison’s “The Inner Light” (flip of Lady Madonna 45 and on Past Masters and the Love album from the Beatles.) With Andy Hollinger on impressionistic guitars and Ed Morreau on assorted keys/fx, it’s actually a quite intriguing look into Harrison’s pop jolt that Beatles fans did not expect.

“Soups on the Table,” “Day Lilly” and “First is the New Leaf” segue into each other like a trilogy while Curt’s track on the tribute to the late Asa Brebner (of Robin Lane and the Chartbusters/Modern Lovers) album I Am Not Gone, similarly titled “He Is Not Gone” is included here. It’s very well done.

Also included is an exotic rendition of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny,” recorded for the maestro’s Facebook SUNNY page. Bobby would have been very proud to hear such a different version of his popular song, one of the top 100 songs of the 20th Century for BMI. “A Monk in a Ninja Suit,” “Gaslighting,” “Wannabees (that never were) right up to “The Last Night on the River” are sixteen tracks that are entertaining, inviting, and in some cases make your head spin. Let Kernels for the Birds be your secret treat to surprise people with at parties.