When I first received this CD I started to question why I had asked Papa Joe to send it for a review. It didn't look and sound like a comedy CD. Listening to it however showed me my first impression was wrong: Open Mike by Papa Joe is a mostly funny song CD disguised as a homey unpretentious folksy music CD. Papa Joe is your almost cliché folk singer: a guitar, a mike, an old voice, simple tunes and simple arrangements. Recorded live in a small club or in his home using a 4-track recorder, Papa Joe's CD doesn't have big-time production values and you can hear the occasional background hiss but the artist more than makes up for it with his wit, talent, and simple, folksy approach. You will not laugh out loud listening to this funny song and serious song cd but you most certainly will enjoy yourself and definitely relax. It is just plain cool.
My favorite tracks on Open Mike, a 24-song cd and a good bang for your buck as it goes, are "A Modest Proposal" with the very funny "Feeding the hungry, praying for world peace ... are very worthy goals ... but I have something much more modest in mind for you: Why don't you use that g...d... turn signal when you're driving in your car...." Gotta love something like that. "Yes, Dear" is a funny song about the two words that will help you have a lasting relationship. "I'm sick of being healthy" is about the joys of fast food and the current trend of eating "healthy". "I Hope Santa Kicks Your Butt For Christmas" is another funny song by Papa Joe but this time he is accompanied by his daughter in backing vocals. There is something a little sad about this sad about this song but it will warm the heart of your basic grinch: "All you've given me all year is grief.. hope his reindeer leave souvenirs on your porch". Other cool songs are "Star Trek Heaven", "I'm Gonna Get My Head Frozen" and "Cryin' On My Pizza"
Not all the songs on Papa Joe can be considered as a funny song or humorous song. "The Champagne Man" is a sad little ballad about Papa Joe's mother's favorite TV show (back in the days when cars were big and TVs were small) and the dancing he and his mother did in front of the TV. "Double Life" is about the masks we use in our daily life to protect who we really are.
Papa Joe Open Mike is a neat funny song CD. After a first listen, I didn't think I would be listening to it much after writing this review but Open Mike definitely snuck up on me and has become a keeper. Problem is my cd/dvd player is slightly allergic to it but it plays perfectly well on my computer. Hey, it's a fun song CD relaxing and entertaining as all get out.