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“Poetry ’n Lotion made a musical transition and it was anything but quiet. The first edition of the band, with Jim Page’s mandolin out front, suggested Bill Monroe sitting in with Django Reinhardt’s Quintet of the Hot of the Hot Club of France. The addition of trumpeter Kenny Pullin, a sharp increase in electricity and Page’s departure have combined to give P’nL a decidedly different sound, although with the same eclectic spirit of its earlier incarnation. “We never really played bluegrass,” insists drummer John Nowicki, chatting on the patio of Ybor City’s New World Brewery before a recent set there. “It was kind of more acoustic centered and we used bluegrass instrumentation, but what we were playing never really resembled bluegrass.” Listeners late to the party can hear that version on Poetry 'n Lotion’s first album, Kentucky Monkey, released in 2010.”
“CD review/Show preview: Poetry n’ Lotion, Kentucky Monkey, which is debuted this Friday at New World / Creative Loafing In the three years since Poetry n’ Lotion first started performing around the Bay area, the instrumental foursome has evolved their old-meets-new brand of acoustic jazz and bluegrass into a plugged-in sound that incorporates elements of hard, psychedelic and progressive rock, roots reggae, samba, gypsy jazz, ragtime, and even Irish folk music. monkeyHaving carved out a tidy niche for themselves in the local live scene, the members of PNL are finally prepared to prove their capabilities in the studio with their debut recording, Kentucky Monkey. [Album art by AZBA, Alexis Ziritt of Calavera Comics and S. Bradley Askew aka Smile Maker]. I got some background on the album from guitarist/occasional keyboardist Matt E. Lee. Read More...”
“Best Fusionists - Poetry 'n Lotion / Creative Loafing The heavy drive of metal, the old-timey bounciness of swing jazz and groovin’ slinkiness of funk jazz, the organic backporch feel of roots, the swagger of ’70s prog rock, the easy-going sway of reggae – all these elements and more are thrown into the fusion fabulous sound of Poetry n’ Lotion, a mostly instrumental fourpiece that includes mandolin player Jim Page, guitarist Matt E. Lee, bassist Tom Murray and drummer John Nowicki. Whether they’re playing original tunes like the lively party closer, “Skinsuit,” performing lively renditions of the Knight Rider or MASH themes, re-interpreting the music of anyone from Mungo Jerry to Dusty Springfield, or pairing together songs – like their Pink Floyd “Fearless-Mother” combo and a mash up of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” with Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” – PNL fuses all the right elements with seeming ease.”
“Meet the Band: Poetry 'n Lotion "A look at a band with local ties." St. Pete Times THE BAND: John Nowicki, drums; Thomas Murray, upright bass; Jim Page, mandolin; James Rogers, keyboards; and Matt E. Lee, guitar. MIXED BAG O' STYLES: You wouldn't normally associate the words fusion or free form with old-fashioned or rustic, but that's the charm of Poetry N' Lotion. The songs can include anything from rock to modern jazz to metal and still sound like they're cranked on a Victrola. Murray: "The instrumentation may be associated with bluegrass, but I think where we bring this from is old school, '20s and '30s jazz. . . . There's an emphasis on taking louder forms of music and putting it to an acoustic format." Read More...”
“The guys from Poetry 'n Lotion are a fun bunch who like to drink -- heavily. That's what my co-worker told me before I left the office to meet them. I figured as much, considering the band chose to be interviewed at 3 in the afternoon, on a Monday, at The Hub, downtown Tampa's most notorious dive bar. But that's not the reason -- well, not the only reason -- I decided to profile the mostly instrumental local quartet. I had seen PNL play at New World Brewery several times, including a packed-house gig during WMNF's Tropical Heatwave. The band's distinct, highly agreeable blend of bluegrass and jam-jazz with a dollop of fusion caught my ear -- especially the choice mandolin playing of Jim Page. I was instantly sold on their fluid, innovative yet immediately recognizable interpretation of Black Sabbath's booming pacifist anthem "War Pigs," especially when juxtaposed with a snazzy rendition of Irving Berlin's timeless "Putting on the Ritz"...”