Mad Folk News Review (Dec ’08)

By Judy Robinson
Vol 34, No. 12
December 2008

“With Relish”

The title of Mustard’s Retreat latest cd “With Relish” is more than a bad pun; it is a description of how they feel about performing. Although their musicianship is superb, it is the joy that they convey while performing that has made them such a long standing favorite in folk circles.

Many of the songs on “With Relish” were recorded in the early 1980’s when Mustard’s Retreat (David Tamulevich and Michael Hough) hosted a radio show in Flint, Michigan. The statement on the back cover of the cd reads in part “in the course of our career, we have had many moments when everything worked right. Sometimes the magic was present, but rarely were we fortunate enough to have the tape running!” The fact that the tape was running to catch these performances was truly fortunate, these tracks definitely should have been saved for Posterity. The cd opens with the rollicking “29 Ways”, a tune that will get your toes tapping by the time the opening chords are finished. “D Double Do I Love You” features tongue twisting lyrics, mighty fancy guitar works and great harmonica playing. Mustard’s Retreat is gifted at incorporating double entendres into their lyrics and “Weenie Man” is full of (mostly) off- color food based humor. It was recorded at the Pump House in LaCrosse in 1984 for Simply Folk, a program that is another example of staying power in folk music. “Allegedly in Love” is a simple declaration of the lengths they would go to for the object of their affections. “Going Back Ain’t” is a reflection on how trying to re-live times from our past usually fall short of our expectations.

Mustard’s Retreat are tireless performers and come thru town on a regular basis. Be sure to catch their next show and discover why their careers have flourished for over 30 years. In the meantime, go to to order “With Relish” or any of their other many cd’s and find out more about this uniquely entertaining duo.