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    Small Time Napoleon, like a swooning street musician, may not catch your attention upon first glance. When you stop for a second though, you’ll find that their charm is hypnotizing and after a few minutes you are instinctively snapping, clapping, and tapping.

    In Cloud Machine, the group’s first full-length release, they show that if folk, rock, and jazz were a Venn diagram, Small Time Napoleon would occupy that little space in the middle as a part of each circle. Their style of combining these genres comes across as easy and natural.

    It’s a smooth record no doubt, one where a couple of any age can sway in the sun or the moonlight a song like “Airship” as singer Dan Hardin’s timeless vocals and Jeff Thomas’s tight guitar playing will make anyone feel good. On the other hand, the nine minute album closer "Me and Mary Magdalene" sounds like a combo of acoustic and blues John Mayer. 

    If there’s one flaw in Cloud Machine, it’s that, in this hit-driven music world, the album is best presented in its entirety. But perhaps that’s just the jazz in Small Time Napoleon talking. Regardless, these songs are great for frivolous, jovial dancing. Speaking of that…

    You can catch Small Time Napoleon at their next show on May 27 at WFPK Waterfront Wednesday. This free event on the Big Four Lawn starts with Small Time Napoleon’s set at 6 p.m. follows by Jukebox The Ghost and Civil Twilight.

    Photo by Capertured courtesy of Small Time Napoleon Facebook page. 

    Will Ford's picture

    About Will Ford

    Covering Louisville music like it's the 6 o' clock news. I've covered Forecastle, Louder Than Life, Moontower, Starry Nights, and Louisville music news for 3 years. Follow me @parasiticnoise

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