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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Road Trip Relief Squad – Happy Butt: Cheeky Fun to Help Relieve the Rigors of the Road

Road Trip Relief Squad – Happy Butt: Cheeky Fun to Help Relieve the Rigors of the Road
2010, Chessy Cat Records
Have you ever spent a long road trip shifting from cheek to cheek thinking that your blood might not flow through those muscles ever again?  Well future trips may be different thanks to the Road Trip Relief Squad.  Carol Heywood, Tina Louise Albrecht and GRAMMY winner Eric Tingstad (Tingstad & Rumbel) combined forces in 2010 to create one of the funniest workout albums of all time, Happy Butt: Cheeky Fun to Help Relieve the Rigors of the Road.  Tingstad has composed seven dynamic tracks to go with Heywood and Albrecht’s rather humorous exercise routines.  Perhaps the funniest aspect of the album is that the exercises work.
Happy Butt opens with “Beach Bum”, a series of breathing exercises for the road designed to keep you awake and alert.  Heywood and Albrecht go back and forth in a style that’s vaguely reminiscent of the old Saturday Night Live Delicious Dish sketches starring Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon.  “Cheeks And Salsa” uses Tingstad’s slick Latin dance number to get your butt moving, of as styled by Road Trip Relief Squad, your Gluteus Mushimus.  Tingstad even riffs off Christopher Walken’s classic call for more Cowbell (from another Saturday Night Live sketch starring Walken and Will Ferrell).    It’s clear early on that Road Trip Relief Squad don’t want to be taken seriously; they want you to have fun while perhaps even providing a service to road weary travelers. 
“Lose The Fat Blues” moves down to your thighs in a finely honey blues/rock arrangement.  The camp doesn’t stop here, with the humor running from hokey to potty and back.  Albrecht and Heywood even speculate on the likelihood of paparazzi taking pictures of their exercises on the way.  “Cowabunga Crunch” uses a distinctive surf-rock arrangement to work on those tummy muscles.  This set of exercises may be a bit more difficult to do while behind the wheel, and if you don’t follow the directions carefully you might have some difficulties with lane discipline.  “Face Off On Bourbon Street” makes the jump to Zydeco for exercises that will keep the blood flowing to your eyes, cheeks and lips.  “Chillin’” takes a boogie-jazz, eight-to-the-bar side trip to allow for stress-relief exercises to limit road rage.  Road Trip Relief Squad closes off with a deep country arrangement around the Roy Rogers classic “Happy Trails”.  This is done in a campy, summer-camp pageant style that is fun and appealing. 
Happy Butt: Cheeky Fun to Help Relieve the Rigors of the Road is hard to take seriously, but may seriously relieve the stresses and tight muscles common on long road trips.  The album was inspired by a late-night, trans-national road trip by Tina Louise Albrecht and Carol Heywood.  The two began to riff an exercise a routine to dance music on the radio and ended up in hysterics.  It was a moment that was too good to let go.  Add in the music of Eric Tingstad and you’ve got an experience you won’t soon forget.    Road Trip Relief Squad has concocted a useful album in Happy Butt, but even if you don’t do the exercises themselves, you’ll get a workout from laughing so hard.  Road Trip Relief Squad do list a disclaimer on their website – the exercises on Happy Butt are only for open road, cruise-control driving.  Listeners are advised to keep both hands on the wheel.  It’s just another way to ensure a Happy Butt.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Road Trip Relief Squad at Butt is available from as a CD or Download.  The album is also available via iTunes.

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