Mad Maude & the Hatters perform at the Neches Brewing Company, Feb. 11.


Female vocal group releases four-track vinyl EP

The room is slowly getting hotter from body heat as people continue to pile into the Neches Brewing Company. The line at the bar is like a wave, indistinguishable from the crowd that’s swarming into the tiny Port Neches bar, while some at the front swing dance and the enlarging crowd threatens to strain the credibility of the sign above the door that says, “Maximum occupancy: 100 persons.”

This was the scene when Mad Maude & the Hatters took the stage, Saturday, to kick off the launch of their new vinyl EP, “The Sweetheart Sessions,” from Wrong Side of the Texas Records. Mad Maude & the Hatters, a doo wop group who have performed all over Southeast Texas, are comprised of Adrienne Dishman, Ashlynn Ivy and Jenny Carson, with Dave Macha on guitar, David Pool on bass and Patrick Brignac on drums. The group has performed at The Art Studio, Inc., Tequila Rok and various other Beaumont locales.

Their new release, “The Sweetheart Sessions,” contains four tracks, two of which appeared on their 2013 album, “Mad Maude & the Hatters.” The tracks have been recorded with a bright, closer arrangement and released on a 10-inch “Coke bottle vinyl” disc, colored translucent green and with an insert sheet for lyrics. The cover, which features Ivy, Carson and Dishman on a salmon-red background, was designed by David Dishman. “The Sweetheart Sessions” comes with a download code for Bandcamp, which listeners can add to their iTunes or other digital music platform.


Ashlynn Ivy performs with Mad Maude & the Hatters at the Neches Brewing Company, Feb. 11.

“Heartburn” is a playful doo wop song about a lover who’s had enough — a barn-burner in the vein of “Fujiyama Mama” or the B-52s. “Recipe” tells the story of a couple whose relationship is in danger and has the swagger of a later Elvis Costello track. If her lover wants “another bite,” the singer intones, they’d better “get it right.” “Doo Wop Ditty” is a slower ballad that builds on a clanging guitar riff like Bobby Darin’s “Dream Lover,” describing two lovers embracing until morning. The final song of the EP, “Mackie G,” happily chirps, “My love doesn’t mean maybe when he calls me his baby,” while the listener is invited to clap along, sounding like a mix between “My Boyfriend’s Back” and “The Shoop Shoop Song.”

Mad Maude & the Hatters breeze through the four songs of “The Sweetheart Sessions” with the cutesy doo wop harmony of the Chordettes or the Supremes. The four songs — about moving on, trouble in a relationship, distance, and finally two lovers wrapped “oh so tight” around one another — pull the listener in and bring them close in the same way as the two lovers grow close over the course of the EP.

Mad Maude & the Hatters are asking the same question as the impassioned lover in “Mackie G,” “Won’t you be mine?” If you’re in the market to support local doo wop by purchasing a vinyl for $10, the answer is, “Yes.”

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On vinyl:

Tim didn't make a cutline.  UP photo by Tim Collins

“The Sweetheart Sessions” comes with a 10″ green translucent vinyl, an insert for lyrics and a download code for the album on Bandcamp.

Vinyl may seem like a vintage throwback for hipsters and that has been making a chic comeback, but there is an argument for buying it. For one, it’s everywhere, with crates of vinyl popping up in bookstores and vintage shops, but it’s also more convenient as a display piece than a CD case or a cassette. The art is larger than a CD, it sounds better than a cassette, and some vinyls come with packaged extras, like the faux fan club form that comes with David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane.”

Vinyl collectors have a quandary when it comes to listening to their favorite records, however, because players range from $30 for a cheap, functional mono machine or around $200 for a stereo experience. Records themselves can cost upwards of $22 for a new release or even $100 for a multi-disc compilation. As a result, vinyl can be a hefty investment.

Tim Collins

UP managing editor

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