Lou writes the melodies--deceptively simple-sounding, until you listen closer and see how marvelously they fit the words. And then there is her trademark ability to create chord progressions and melodies that, as in the best Broadway duet tunes, allow two distinct melodic and rhythmic lines to sound simultaneously, with both being understandable. No mean trick, yet she's managed it spectacularly on a number of their songs.
And it's not only the frivolous that tickles their funny bones. Their topics include homelessness, nuclear war, aging, the one-percenters ("How We Can Sleep At Night"), and songs that categorically defy categories. "Quarter After Blues" is a late-night stream of consciousness tour de force: "I overloaded something / in the brain no doubt / I went 'n' blew the section / where it sorts things out / I musta reached the point / where the circuitry melts / and everything reminds you of / everything else."
The Berrymans return to the Ark on Saturday, October 12 (see Nightspots).
[Originally published in October, 2013.]