Since his famously rehab-resistant daughter became an international tabloid sensation thanks to her sultry pipes, towering Snooki-prototype bouffant, stormy marriage to "Blake Incarcerated," and multiple arrests, London taxi driver Mitch Winehouse has also been in the news, frequently (some might say eagerly) ranting to reporters at length about his daughter's troubles. So maybe it's not such a surprise that he took advantage of his fame-by-association and decided to become a recording artist himself.
Like Amy, Mitch dabbles in old-school torch singing. (Rush Of Love is a jazz-crooner album, in a vaguely Bublé-ish vein, that includes covers of standards like "Day By Day.") And, like Amy, Mitch knows how to garner gossip-paper ink. Of course, Mitch doesn't quite share his daughter's vocal talent, although he is a decent singer (Amy actually described him as "the karaoke Sinatra" back in 2004, after he spontaneously jumped onstage with her in London). But at least Mitch is willing to cut off all accusations of exploiting the good Winehouse name, by readily admitting that he would have never gotten a record deal without a ride on his daughter's skimpy coattails.
"Well, it was my name before Amy's. You could say she's been exploiting my name, I'm just catching up," Mitch jokingly told London paper The Telegraph when his album received a U.K. release last year, before more seriously conceding: "Look, I've said it myself a hundred times, if I wasn't Amy's dad, I wouldn't get to make an album. The world isn't short of singers. But who wouldn't do this, given the opportunity? I love to sing, and I think we've made a nice album. And what I am able to do, with no expectation on me at all, is to reintroduce slightly more obscure songs, lovely songs, that the world has forgotten."
Of course the timing was right: Amy Winehouse has since become one of the most famous female pop singers in the world, the woman arguably responsible for ushering in a new era of neo-jazz divas (Adele, Duffy, Estelle, et al). But will an album by a Winehouse of any other name sound as sweet--or sell as much? Or will the music-purchasing population just say no, no, no? We're not too sure, but considering that there's no sign of a new album from Amy any time soon, Rush Of Love may have to suffice for now. And really, who can begrudge an old cabbie for daring to follow his deferred dream?
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