With the current world money market being what it is, one could hardly think of a more depressing group name than Big Yankee Dollar. Yet the group, which appeared last night at the Cellar Door, is a bright addition to the local pop scene.
Big Yankee Dollar trades in various musical currency -- blues, rock and jazz, with touches of soul and funk thrown in for additional effect. This approach is reflected in the group's songs, which feature surprising shifts in mood and dynamics as well as a number of striking instrumental sections. Much of this variety is due to the skills of guitarist John Jennings, who moves through contrasting musical styles with ease and imagination.
While the material was, at times, intriguing and the musicians were well rehersed, the group suffered from a certain lack of maturity and emotion. Often, they sounded like a plastic version of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers and the songs were delivered with a precision that left little room for feeling.
The group has the potential for becoming a formidable rock act. When the musicians are willing (or able) to put more of themselves into their music, Big Yankee Dollar should gain in value.