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Puss N Boots - No Fools, No Fun

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No Fools, No Fun

Puss N Boots

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Puss N Boots began performing in N.Y.C. nightclubs in 2008 but didn't deliver their debut, No Fools, No Fun, until the summer of 2014 -- a pretty good indication that this group was intended as something of a lark. All three musicians -- Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper, and Norah Jones -- keep themselves busy with solo day jobs that range from in-demand supporting musicians to full-time superstars, but Puss N Boots affords the trio an opportunity to indulge in their shared love of country and other pieces of ramshackle Americana. Jones has another part-time country band, but where she's the frontwoman for the Little Willies, Puss N Boots is decidedly a collaborative affair, finding Jones, Dobson, and Popper harmonizing and trading leads, often within the course of a song. The group follows no straight path and neither does No Fools, No Fun. It's half covers, half originals, part live and part studio, the different parts sitting side by side, adding up to a curious record whose raggedness feels like a statement of purpose. Puss N Boots celebrates the moments that don't add up, the places where the present blurs with the past, delivering songs with a sly wink that camouflages a teary eye. No Fools, No Fun is never rowdy -- the closest it comes is the train-track beat of Jones' original "Don't Know What It Means" -- but there's an earthiness to the trio's chemistry that signals how deeply the group members know each other's strengths and weaknesses. This is where Puss N Boots' long history of woodshedding pays off: far from sounding like a busman's holiday, there's a shared past that's evident in every moment of this debut, and that natural, relaxed camaraderie is the reason why No Fools, No Fun is such an appealing listen.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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No Fools, No Fun

Puss N Boots

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1
Leaving London
00:03:08

Tom Paxton, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

2
Bull Rider Live From The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY / 2013
00:03:39

Rodney Crowell, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

3
Twilight
00:03:10

ROBBIE ROBERTSON, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

4
Sex Degrees Of Separation
00:03:17

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

5
Don't Know What It Means
00:02:26

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

6
Down By The River Live From The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY / 2013
00:05:29

NEIL YOUNG, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

7
Tarnished Angel Live From The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY / 2013
00:03:46

Roger Miller, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

8
Jesus, Etc.
00:04:11

Jeff Tweedy, ComposerLyricist - JAY BENNETT, ComposerLyricist - Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

9
Always
00:03:18

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

10
GTO
00:04:10

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jeb Loy Nichols, ComposerLyricist - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

11
Pines
00:02:38

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

12
You'll Forget Me
00:03:03

Norah Jones, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Fiddle, AssociatedPerformer - Sasha Dobson, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Catherine Popper, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Hamilton, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Francisco Botero, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Puss N Boots, MainArtist - Mike Jinno, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Iabozza, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Blue Note Records

Album Description

Puss N Boots began performing in N.Y.C. nightclubs in 2008 but didn't deliver their debut, No Fools, No Fun, until the summer of 2014 -- a pretty good indication that this group was intended as something of a lark. All three musicians -- Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper, and Norah Jones -- keep themselves busy with solo day jobs that range from in-demand supporting musicians to full-time superstars, but Puss N Boots affords the trio an opportunity to indulge in their shared love of country and other pieces of ramshackle Americana. Jones has another part-time country band, but where she's the frontwoman for the Little Willies, Puss N Boots is decidedly a collaborative affair, finding Jones, Dobson, and Popper harmonizing and trading leads, often within the course of a song. The group follows no straight path and neither does No Fools, No Fun. It's half covers, half originals, part live and part studio, the different parts sitting side by side, adding up to a curious record whose raggedness feels like a statement of purpose. Puss N Boots celebrates the moments that don't add up, the places where the present blurs with the past, delivering songs with a sly wink that camouflages a teary eye. No Fools, No Fun is never rowdy -- the closest it comes is the train-track beat of Jones' original "Don't Know What It Means" -- but there's an earthiness to the trio's chemistry that signals how deeply the group members know each other's strengths and weaknesses. This is where Puss N Boots' long history of woodshedding pays off: far from sounding like a busman's holiday, there's a shared past that's evident in every moment of this debut, and that natural, relaxed camaraderie is the reason why No Fools, No Fun is such an appealing listen.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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