A boisterous reassessment of traditional Americana, Country Doctor Museum is a collection of old musical ideas playfully reexamined. Like a rowdy, bacchanalian Decemberists, The Lisps strip the folk re-revival to its rollicking basics, with boy/girl vocals soaring over a chaotic jamboree of thundersticks, basses, melodicas and filing cabinets.
The Lisps began as the lovechild of conservatory-trained composer César Alvarez and his girlfriend, actress Sammy Tunis. In 2005, César had happily abandoned the life of a singer-songwriter, but, upon hearing the reactions to Sammy's unaffected, childlike singing voice one night after she joined him on stage, he was inspired to start writing the body of songs that would become The Lisps' signature catalogue of relationship anthems and gleeful, oddball honesty-pop.
Combining César's brainy compositions with Sammy's theatrical flair, the talents of bassist and bibliophile Jeremy Hoevenaar and accomplished burlesque drummer Eric Farber, The Lisps developed their own brand of indie-experimental show tunes. Their songs and live performances joyfully and unpredictably negotiate irony with earnestness, borrow elements of neo-vaudeville and variety and sometimes include tap shoes, broken tambourines, wrestling and dinosaurs.
After a self-releasing a 5-song EP, The Vain the Modest and The Dead, in 2006, and completing a 25 city national tour in 2007, The Lisps drew plans for their debut full-length. But as the band was gearing up to record Country Doctor Museum, César and Sammy broke up. Never ones to shy away from the brutal realities of love and loss, they hunkered down to document these songs at their most raw. Moving forward with platonic grace, The Lisps now enter a new chapter, with new awkward truths to expose and new musical landscapes to conquer.