Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

"Russian Blue"

To see Ransom Note live for the first time is a bliss unlike any other we have experienced in all our time spent going to shows. The mangy-looking group of south-city regulars will have you thinking you're in for some sort of rough-around-the-edges folk or nostalgic rock & roll. Nothing wrong with that. But then they'll kick into an R&B groove so pristine you'll suddenly find yourself floating, and frontman Merv Schrock will keep you there for as long as the set lasts, wailing and preening around the stage, a consummate entertainer with a silky voice. The band ties up the essential Tower Groove Records double-LP, following the screech of Bug Chaser with "Russian Blue." It's the recording that best captures the live show, partly thanks to some help from the horns of the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra. Warning: Repeated listens may result in unplanned pregnancy.

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