Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance
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Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance

Band Americana Cabaret

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"Review: Gateway to Temptation by The Whiskey Romance"

"Gateway to Temptation" is the first release by Seattle quartet (Erin Jordan and) The Whiskey Romance. It's a wonderful and delectable debut.
The music here has a bad part-of-town/other-side-of-the-tracks (and on "Porque Tu No Me Amas", south-of-the-border) feel that evokes what the Doors called "the darkness on the edge of town"... it reminds you that there are disturbed places near where you live, places that are haunted by the living. One of these places is a bar where Erin Jordan and her crew are the featured entertainment. It's a dive, a place where the drinks come easy and the broken hearts easier. A place where any lost soul might wander in, a place where the band sounds like it stumbled over from the cabaret down the street after they got kicked out for playing Patsy Cline songs.
It's easy to peg the basis for the pieces on "Gateway..." as roots music. But who's roots? None of us are old enough to remember a time when cabaret was popular or when country wasn't. But the key here is not the roots, it's the result. EJ & the WR tap into something timeless: we'll always be looking for love and, when that's lost, for solace. When you're broken you can drink yourself into oblivion or dance the night away with a tempting stranger. "Gateway to Temptation" is the soundtrack for both.
It follows that the sound on this disc is sexy, sultry and (frequently) sleazy. We say the damnedest things when our hearts are on our sleeves (or when we're three sheets to the wind). Luckily Erin's voice is perfect for this, by turns heartbreaking and coquettish, needy and vengeful.
The band's secret weapon is Jeremy Butkovich's oboe. Not only is it an amazing counterpoint to Jordan's vocals it provides a chain that runs through the songs that makes them otherworldly. This band isn't from around these parts, and the oboe makes you think that they may not be from this side of the dream veil.
This is a remarkable collection that I highly recommend. Honestly I don't know how you can get through the one-two punch of the opening song ("Black Widows" and "Jane") and not be seduced.
-Review from Sepiachord (Sepiachord.com) Nov 2008

- Sepiachord.com


"Review of Gateway To Temptation by The Whiskey Romance"

Erin Jordan writes with a dark and droll pen, sings in a flapper floozy / jazz moll mode, and wields a trio of instruments (piano, guitar, accordion), but what really intrigued me about this release is the inclusion of an oboeist (Jeremy Butkovitch) as an integral band member rather than sessioneer. The oboe, like the bassoon, is a sadly overlooked instrument save for show applications, and Butkovitch's presence lends an inseparable caberatic mood that then swings into gypsy wildlands every time a violin capers in to spark things up, as in the darkly humorous Jane, musical equivalent of 50s edu-films on venereal diseases meant to scare the bejeezus out of school children who might be contemplating straying from the claustrophobic Christian path of righteousness, continence, and abstinence.
The entirety of Gateway to Temptation is like the soundtrack to a high camp retro-flick of social indoctrination, witty and thematic while taking broad shots at the human animal and its unceasing penchant for delusion and self-abuse. Jordan obviously is a cynic and joins a palette of such artists as David E. Williams, Dudley Saunders, John Cale, and others who take the existentialist's role in a kind of stand-up capacity, executing duty with a sharp knife tempered in rapier satire.
The music itself is, as said, cabaretic rock with jazz and show inflections, a kind demented progression from the old Ian Whitcomb, New Vaudeville Six, Stackridge, and other sounds of the 60s and 70s. However, Jordan's acid tongue and fangs cleave closer in sentiment to Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson but without the modernist/futurist sturm und drang, even reaching back to Kurt Weill. In other words, this is a disc for specialized, eclectic, and refined tastes.
-Mark S. Tucker, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME) January, 2009

- Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange


"Music Picks - Nov 2008"

Self described as a "hobo cabaret," The Whiskey Romance creates an atmosphere somewhere between a gin joint and a jug-band hoedown with their crowd participation mandatory shows and lively performances. Vocalist Erin Jordan channels Pink Martini's China Forbes and commands her soaring vibrato over the band's collection of upright bass and cantina style piano, convincingly enough that you might look around to double-check that you're still in Seattle.
-Raechel Sims, The Seattle Weekly, Nov 2008

- The Seattle Weekly


Discography

Erin Jordan: Loaded Gaze Empty Hands (2001)
Erin Jordan: Land of Milk and Honey (2003)
Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance: Gateway to Temptation (2008)
Gateway to Temptation has been played on several college stations in Washington State.

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Bio

Erin Jordan and The Whiskey Romance combine American roots music with Cabaret and traditional Eastern European folk music. The band started forming in 2005, when singer/songwriter Erin Jordan relocated to Seattle and started reinventing her musical style. Ms. Jordan started writing songs while living in a small Central Illinois college town. While she had gone to school to study classical voice, she found that she was more interested in writing poetry and attending poetry slams. Wishing to combine her singing and writing, she bought an acoustic guitar at a local pawn shop and learned how to play it. In 1999 Erin returned to Chicago, her hometown, to pursue music. Living there she recorded her 2003 folk rock album, Land of Milk and Honey, fronted the folk rock band, Erin Jordan and the Sweet Nothings, and hosted the weekly open mic at the Inner Town Pub. Feeling a need for a change of scenery and a fresh writing perspective, Erin relocated to Seattle in 2005. It was there that she began seriously playing piano, and rediscovered her love of show tunes, and various types of ethnic music, such as Klezmer, Gypsy, and Flamenco. After being a hermit and writing new material for almost a year, she started forming her new band. The first member was oboist Jeremy Butkovich. After a few coffee shop gigs as a duo they expanded to include drummer Steven Baz and several others who have played upright bass, trumpet, violin, and melodica with the band. The Whiskey Romance released their debut album, Gateway to Temptation in the Fall of 2008. Exploring the theme of temptation, the songs range from the humorous 'Jane', warning young boys of the dangers of loose women, to the sultry Klezmer tinged love song, 'Unrequited', to the Mariachi style murder ballad, 'Corpus Christi'. The Whiskey Romance, and Erin and a solo act, frequently play in the Seattle area.

Critics have been most impressed by the exotic instrumentation, most notably having and oboeist as a permanent band member. Artists we have been compared to are Tom Waits, The Dresden Dolls, Jolie Holland, and Kurt Weill.