27 May 2016


littlefield 2016, edition of 50

thrill jockey 2016, yellow vinyl edition of 500

scissor tail 2016, edition of 50

i've been diggin up stuff that i dig faster than i can churn out recommendations, so here's a triple rec dictated by circumstance, three artists, three labels, a common thread that i think goes beyond being of the same genre/style, but deeper into the vibe and execution - you dig one, you're sure to dig em all, and as far as folk guitar music goes these are my favorites of the year so far

OAKLAND TO SEBASTOPOL is my proper introduction to HOFFWEILER, who has been active in the NY anti-folk scene for over a decade - i know there was a SCISSOR TAIL cd last year but i just never got around to it, which is sad to say - sometimes i briefly ponder how much good music i miss out on by not scrutinizing cds with the same fervor i do tapes, but no one can hear everything, and there's plenty of great music i miss out on as it is -- i digress -- OTS is a fantastic slice of melodic backcountry grace, other than some birds chirping and cawing on the opener and some FAHEY VOL. 4 esque flute it's mostly north-and-south pickin and runnin without any pretense or melodrama that by my measure plagues plenty of modern folk guitar hooplah - everything flows nicely and frankly i couldn't believe the running time of nearly forty minutes, that sure went by quick

GLENN JONES has been around, as a 90s post rocker in CUL DE SAC, then turning toward TAKOMA folk in the early 00s perhaps inspired by a similar turn made by JACK ROSE, and in fact JONES appears on ROSE's OPIUM MUSICK a year before his solo debut - there could be a lot of history here that i don't know much about - in any case, there's no mistaking that JONES is both extremely talented and well practiced, though decidedly less flashy than ROSE by my measure, which as much as i dig ROSE his flashiness sometimes prevents me from sinking deep into his music, but there's no trouble with that here on FLEETING, and yet again i'm sad to say i'm not that familiar with the artist's back catalog, only having previously perused his THRILL JOCKEY titles but i never pulled the trigger for whatever reason, though this certainly has me second guessing and i will be revisiting those albums soon -- anyway, of the three titles in this rec, FLEETING is the most refined by a fair margin, but also the most effortless, JONES makes more sound like less in the best way possible

ATTEMPTING LEVITATION is the latest addition to the SCISSOR TAIL family of ascending folk guitar artists, an impressive roster assembled over the past couple years - the aforementioned HOFFWEILER, CHUCK JOHNSON, SARAH LOUISE, WES TIREY, ANDREW WEATHERS (who runs FULL SPECTRUM and LITTLEFIELD), and ST head honcho himself DYLAN AYCOCK, just to name a few (not to mention fringe / outsider faves like DROWNING IN WOOD and OJERUM) - i suppose this is WASWAS's debut (?) but it sure doesn't sound like it, this guy definitely knows his way around "12 & 6 string guitar" but i dig that he's not too showy about it (of course i would), of the three this seems the most focused but also the most cozy - WASWAS channels early FAHEY albeit more polished - it's more in the measured tempos, the laid back vibe, the intimate sound, the variety of themes and deceptive simplicity

highly recommended, all around