Two Man Gentlemen Band

Feb. 11 • Southgate House (Parlour)

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In 2005, Andy Bean and Fuller Condon abandoned their college Rock band grind, shifting gears toward old-time Bluegrass, Country and hot Jazz music. The duo whipped up some authentically twisted tunes embracing bygone traditions and tested them in New York’s Central Park.

“People threw money at us, and we got hooked pretty fast,” Bean says. “For two years, we were making most of our living street performing. It wasn’t much of a living, but it was great.”

Thus was born the Two Man Gentlemen Band, hybridizing the Squirrel Nut Zippers, R. Crumb’s Cheap Suit Serenaders, They Might Be Giants and a three-card vaudeville show. With Bean on banjo, Condon on stand-up bass and both on vocals and kazoos, they found an eager yet rotating street audience; after two years of busking, the pair wearied of their outdoor schedule.

“We got frustrated with inclement weather and having to get up early to get a good spot in the park,” Bean recalls. “I think we’re the only band who ever hit the road to get more stability.”

There’s a big difference between stage and street, and TMGB had to adapt, eliminating their normal six-hour set. That was just the beginning.

“We had to adjust our show for people paying attention the whole time,” Bean says. “We haven’t street-performed at all in a couple of years because we’re used to people looking at us.”

In the past two years, TMGB has steered in a decidedly Jazz direction, as evidenced by the swinging rumpus on the their fourth CD, Drip Dryin’, featuring the 23 skidoo of “Fancy Beer,” the stay-out-of-jail two step of “Hey Officer!” and the red hot stomp of “Croquet Playing Girl.” (The duo’s newly released fifth album, The Two Man Gentlemen Band: Live in New York, can be heard in its entirety at www.thetwogentlemen.com.)

“It was the first record we’d written that was informed by playing for rowdy crowds in bars every night,” Bean says. “It’s more of what we are now, which is a good-time party band. And we got free drinks every night for the last two years. That probably has something to do with it.”

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)

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