Sunshine Records is proud to announce the release of Polkas in Black & White, the finest recording by 3 time GRAMMY nominees, Jerry Darlak & the Touch!
This exciting CD is a compilation of lively, foot-stomping polkas and obereks, two touching waltzes, and a rocking bonus cut --sure to knock the dust out of your speakers!
"Polkas in Black & White" was nominated for "Best Polka Album" at 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards (2004)!
The title tune, Black & White, is a polka written and performed by Touch bassist- Tadj-in his own unique style. It's an amusing story about a passionate couple - as heated in their battles as in their love for each other. You'll be dancing and laughing to this humorous song as Tadj sings--"Black & White...when we're together, it's like day and night"
The lush voice of Ken Machelski can be heard on both of the beautiful waltzes on this CD. The first of the two, Still Waltzing With You, features Ken in a duet with guest vocalist, Leah Zicari. John Mattic, former pianist with Alabama, who co-wrote the song exclusively for the Touch, displays his considerable piano skills on the cut. The velvet smooth voices of Ken and Leah blend effortlessly on this country-flavored gem, which will appeal to all audiences.
Paco's Taco Polka, a spirited instrumental tune, features the talents of Jerry Darlak on concertina and Mike Nowakowski on accordion. The syncopated beat will have you smiling and tapping your feet.
Songs You May Know, a clever original written by Ken, incorporates the titles and catch phrases from prior Touch favorites into a "honky" style sizzler.
Jerry Darlak & the Touch are definitely a party band, and nowhere is that more evident than in We Like Beer. Tadj wrote this humorous tribute to hops and barley, and you will definitely be joining in on the catchy chorus.
There's the bonus cut Always Next Year. Tadj has only been in the polka field for a short time, after a long and illustrious career as a rock, jazz and blues bass player. With Always Next Year, Tadj invited some old friends to join in with the Touch, along with Frank Urbanovich from the Jimmy Sturr Orchestra on violin. The result is a rip-snortin' country rocker, dedicated to anybody who has been one step short of being "number one". Whether your favorite team lost in the championship game, your bowling team came in second in your league, or you came up short in an awards ceremony, (This CD was nominated for a Grammy in 2004) you will be sure to identify with this showcase tune.
Polkas in Black & White also includes some great traditional songs done Touch-style. With the tunes-- Angel Face, My Wife Oberek, Theresa's Polka and a medley of Marion Lush tunes (Leaving for Chicago/Pretty Flower) --Jerry and the boys show they haven't forgotten their musical roots. By adding English lyrics to In Jail and Drunkard's Story, the Touch again blend old and new, introducing old Polka classics to a new generation.
Listen to this CD and you're going to want to roll back the carpet, break open a brew, and party with Jerry Darlak & the Touch once again!
Album review by Steve Litwin, (per polamjournal.com):
It's classic! It's interesting! It's black and white film which is making a comeback via Kodak marketing. It's Classic! It's interesting! But, this is not film, it's the new Polkas in Black and White recording by Jerry Darlak and the Buffalo Touch.
With everything from traditional Polish standards to a definitely non-polka, non-Polish salute to Buffalo's sport's mania, there is something for everyone on this 15 track collection of The Touch. Recordings are never as good as seeing this band live on stage but any fan of these Buffalo bombadiers will love this one.
Being a purist, allow me to start with "Jailbird" and "Drunkard's Lament" done in a translated version thanks to Ray Barsukiewicz. More bands should consider this. It's a great way to present those grand old Polish polkas. "Angel Face," the Ampol-Aires hit, is covered with class and a great vocal by Ken Machelski. As a matter of fact, Machelski's vocal work is a highpoint on this recording. "Still Waltzing With You" written by former Buffalonian John Madick, now of Nashville, matches Machelski with Leah Zicari in a slick production that demonstrates true quality vocal work.
Then, honoring the late Marion Lush, Machelski does a memorable version of "Leaving Chicago" and "Pretty Flower" that will make you remember Maniu's magic with a song.
"Black and White," a Touch love story, a rippin' version of "Theresa's," the crowd-pleaser "We Like Beer," "Hotdog," and the heart-felt "Thoughts of a Father" are among those sure to become fan favorites.
These guys have fun. There is no doubt about it. Combined, they easily add up to over a quarter century of musical expertise. Darlak, Machelski, Barsukiewicz, Kurdziel, Miniszewski, Nowakowski, Tadj all bring something to this band that makes them "The Touch" of Buffalo, a band like no other. Now, with this Grammy nominated recording, they offer music in "Black and White" - interesting, classic but still filled with color.
Recorded by Wizzears studios, mixed by Hank Guzevich and Gary Rhamy, it's on the Sunshine label and puts another solid one in the pocket of this Western New York based polka record group.