PREMIERE: Neo-ragtime duo Parlor Social casts a spell with spooky rendition of old hit

By Cree B. McClellan

October 27, 2017

Dessy Di Lauro and Ric’key Pageot- aka Parlor Social- are bursting back on the scene and staking their claim with the premiere of their take on an old classic.

Just in time for the holidays, the duo’s much-loved genre of speakeasy-soul is thrown for a loop in their latest cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s “I Put a Spell on you”. Made infamous by Queen Nina Simone, and tackled by greats like Annie Lennox and Buddy Guy, Parlor Social is adding themselves to the ranks as the infamous “bluesy-waltz” track meets a hip-hop fusion in this boundary-defying offering.

The track, complete with distorted vocals and dynamic progressions, features a 20-piece orchestra lead by Benjamin Wright- the man behind the arrangements of MJ’s “Don’t stop til you get enough” and Frank Ocean’s “Pink & White”, just to name a few- along with the spell-inducing vocals of Di Lauro, listeners are entranced and lost in the mood.

Ric’key Pageot tells AFROPUNK:
“The first time we played this song was for our Las Vegas production show residency called ‘Dessy Di Lauro’s Jamboree’ at The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino back in 2014. It has been part of our set ever since as the bluesy/waltz groove of the original fits our neo-ragtime, speakeasy/soul style very well. But we made it our own by adding a thumping kick, a fat bass, and lush keyboard pads while still keeping it vintage with some accordion and banjo. It’s become a fan favorite at our shows to the point where they were pleading us to release it as a single. So I brought the band in studio to record it, and just when I thought we were close to releasing the song, I thought of asking my mentor, Benjamin Wright, if he would like to write a string arrangement to it, and he said yes. The next step was figuring out how we would pay for him and his orchestra and the only way we could, in very little time, was crowdfunding. Our family, friends, and fans have come through.”


As haunting as it is riveting, this cover was supported almost solely on crowdfunding, while simultaneously paying homage to its prior forms.

It is layered, and it is wild-  not truly over until the last riff, audiences are granted a truly activated listening experience.

Re-introduce yourselves to Parlor Social, and listen to an old track made new in their premier of “I Put a Spell on You”!