Dressy Bessy – Little Music (Singles 1997-2002)

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 3)

I most recently saw Dressy Bessy in 2019 at the newish Sleeping Village, which for all its hipster design, has a very poor sounding room. The stage is in what is essentially a (surprisingly) large bunker (probably the size of the first floor of Lincoln Hall; bigger than Schuba’s room; comparable to all of the combined space at the Empty Bottle), and the problem is that if a band does not fill up the room, then the sound just bounces off all the hard surfaces. Dressy Bessy was loud and unfortunately cannot draw to fill that venue, and so the concert was a little disappointing that way. But Tammy Ealom and Co. were fun and full of energy. Much better was their show at the aforementioned Empty Bottle a few years earlier.

What I Think of This Album

An excellent singles collection via the Kindercore label, Little Music succeeds in showing how consistent Dressy Bessy has been over the years. From their first single to the 2002 demo of album track “Tidy,” Dressy Bessy produces fun and fuzzy songs that you can’t help but sing along to.

Annoyingly sequenced out of order, the compilation nonetheless nicely fills in the gaps between the first three studio albums. Even though this collects mostly unrelated songs (three of them come from the same single) spanning five years, the overriding Dressy Bessy aesthetic comes through, and you could be forgiven for mistaking this for a studio album.

There are a lot of endearing moments on this album:  Tammy Ealom provides her own counter-melodious backing vocals on the winking “Lipstick;” the delightful keyboard flourishes on “All the Right Reasons;” the chintzy version of “Tidy;” the interplay between the instruments and Ealom on opener “Live to Tell All;” and the grit in John Hill’s guitar tone on “Said You Would.” I should note that bassist Rob Greene plays highly melodic lines throughout, including a lead role on “2 My Question.” Do not sleep on this little compendium.

The Best Thing About This Album

Plant a big kiss on “Lipstick.”

Release Date

March, 2003

The Cover Art

Pretty cool, actually. My only . . . observation . . . is that it’s difficult to tell what the album title is exactly.

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