Last Good Tooth: “What’s What I Do”

A gently picked guitar wafts through the airy mix. The banjo adds its joyful metallic pluck. A man’s voice comes in. It’s hopeful, if a bit world-weary, with a just a hint of twang. The sound of the music they make has the unmistakable bucolic charm of back-porch folk, but it also has a glimmer sleek, modern, anthemic pop.

This is the work of North Easterners Last Good Tooth. Now if you’re expecting some over-earnest beardos with a penchant for waistcoats and jodhpurs, you might just be driving the wrong steam-powered contraption there Orville. The four fellas that make up the band–Penn Sultan (Guitar, frontman, and son of artist Donald Sultan), Kevin Sullivan (Bass), Arthur Kapp (Drums), and Alex Spoto (Fiddles AND a Rolling Stone contributor)–sport top-notch educations (including Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design), an impish sense of humor (did you see their band photo up there?), and by all accounts, a blistering live show (which they’ll be bringing to Austin at Stubb’s inside this Saturday, May 11). The band released a seven-song EP called The Meeting Was a Success back in 2011, but this month they’re back on wax on May 28 with their debut full-length debut Not Without Work and Rest.

One of the tracks that’s already been makin’ the rounds is a lovely diddy called “What’s What I Do.” It’s the song that inspired that mini-paean that opened today’s post. It’s a really lovely song. there’s really no other way to describe it, like a cool breeze on a sunny day. There’s an effortless quality to Last Good Tooth’s approach to folk. It feels warm, natural. The boys of Last Good Tooth may be well-schooled Yankees, but they’d be right at home on some Appalachian back porch.

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