A Review of the Carla Ulbrich CD
"Sick Humor"

"Sick Humor"
by Carla Ulbrich

Copyright 2004

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Are you stuck for material? Ever get songwriter's block? Well, if you find yourself in such a circumstance, get sick, I mean seriously ill, Grim Reaper on standby . Not that Carla Ulbrich was barren of verses and choruses, but her recent life-threatening medical experiences have been regurgitated (I know, bad, very bad) as the material of her latest release, "Sick Humor," pun, I'm sure, very intended.

It's a fairly short offering, at just under 30 minutes, but consider it flushed with excess. Full of songs such as "On the Commode Again," "What if Your Butt Was Gone" and "The Colon." (Be forewarned: do not play the latter one for your English teacher as it has nothing to do with the puncuation mark). These are dittys Ulbrich composed during her protracted recovery.

Very cleverly, Ulbrich has matched her compositions with the music and melodies of other songs. "On the Commode Again" is set to the music of Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" while "The Colon" is matched with the theme from the "Love Boat" television show, and so on. Trying to guess the 'original' song title is half the fun. If fact, listeners might find these cuts would fit well as a musical category on the "Jeopardy" game show.

Herer are a few examples of her wit. From "On the Commode Again" comes:

"...on the commode again
going in places that I've never been
Seeing things I hope to never see again
And I can't believe I'm on the commode again..."

Sounding very similar to Cheryl Wheeler, Ulbrich in "Prednisone" offers this about the life-saving drug that unfortunately creates other physical maladies:

"...prednisone you start with one complaint
prednisone now you've got seven or eight
prednisone you could be dead you know
So take your prednisone or pick your tombstone today..."

Riffing on the music of one of her previously-released songs, she sings in "What if Your Butt Was Gone":

"...a butt, as you know, can be skinny or fat
dimpled or pimpled, curvy or flat
like an opinion, everyone's got one
but what if your butt was suddenly not one..."

Back in the 1960s, author Norman Cousins first twined the provinces of humor and healing. Consider this release an update, the musical, funnier version for the 2000s.

Carla Ulbrich on vocals and guitar, is backed by Bob Malone on piano, keyboard and background vocals; Larry Goldman on sax; Eric Jorgensen on trombone; Steve Stassi on trumpet; Lynn Keller on bass; Robert "Jake" Jacobs on drums; and background vocals by Amy "Bob" Englehardt and Randy Crenshaw.

Track List:

All songs by Carla Ulbrich.

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