Music Review: Gus Spenos’s ‘If You Were Gold, Baby’

If You Were Gold Baby by Gus Spenos

What do neurologists do when they’re not seeing patients? Turns out at least one plays tenor sax and sings with a hot jazz band—and I do mean hot.

The horn section in Gus Spenos’s blues- and rock-influenced outfit shows off a big bag of tricks that will turn your head or, just as likely, get you on your feet and onto the dance floor. Spenos—whose vocals on If You Were Gold, Baby often sound like the work of a sprightlier and more versatile version of Mose Allison—offers up a strong program of swing, jump, and boogie on this debut album. Spenos’s originals hold their own in a song list that also includes such chestnuts as Jimmy Witherspoon’s “Money’s Getting’ Cheaper” and the fifties rock hits “Tequila” (the Champs) and “Walkin’ with Mr. Lee.” (Lee Allen).

It might be time for the doctor to close down the practice and focus on curing “patients” in concert halls.

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