What suspense is there, really, in putting on a new Lou and Peter Berryman album? The Madison folk duo have played shows together for nearly as long as the combined age of freshmen roommates in the UW-Madison dorms. On the 11 other albums they've released since 1990, we've grown familiar with the way Lou's accordion skips along in gleeful and playful time with Peter's guitar.
One listen to Rocky Frontier is a reminder that there's lots of suspense. First, their satirical lyrics are always fresh and original. "How We Can Sleep at Night" assumes the voice of a gilded Manhattan couple who boast contentedly about diamonds, security guards and political stability for the wealthy. They wonder in blissful ignorance why people would ask them how they can sleep at night.
No Berryman album would be complete without a tongue-in-cheek Wisconsin anthem. "Fourth Most Visited State" adopts Badger bravado about non-residents coming here by car. The only catch - most are en route from Minnesota to Illinois.
The Berrymans may rank high in scene seniority, but Rocky Frontier proves their wit is as youthful and vigorous as ever.