Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 117
melodic splendor ignoring the sounds of
oblivious patrons in the background on
"The Artist Dies And Goes To Hell."
Last Danger of Frost communicates with
lots to see and hear. - Oscar Jordan
When You Wish
Upon a Star
Bill Frisell is one
of those guitarists
who make you wish
there were a hundred more like him. But, then again, that
would make his uniqueness moot.
On his latest, he plays songs from movies
and TV shows. That might seem ripe for a
trip down memory lane, but the great arrangements and playing make sure things
never gets sappy.
Frisell handles all guitars. His band features Eyvind Kang on an ever-present viola
that greatly enhances all the music here.
Rounding things out are bassist Thomas
Morgan, percussionist Rudy Royston, and
vocalist Petra Haden on six tunes. The
vocals are splendid, especially on a beautiful
"Shadow Of Your Smile" that highlights one
of the all-time great melodies.
Not surprisingly Frisell is everywhere,
playing beautiful melodies, supplying supple
harmonic fills and the occasional solo,
although solos don't dominate the record.
That said, check out his break on "Moon
River," where he mixes chords, single-note
work and more into sheer beauty.
As a guitar player, Frisell should be celebrated as one of the truly unique greats.
And he proves he deserves that with every
record he puts out. - JH
Devil On The Loose
of pre-World War II
blues Erik Jacobs,
Erik Nilsson, and
Pontus Ohlsson, hauled a bunch of gear up to
a remote cabin and got down to business. The
result is an album so full of genuine love for
the genre, it's impossible to dismiss. Sure, the
band consists of three young Swedish guys
pretending to sound like oppressed African
Americans from the early 20th Century, but
you have to admire their moxie.
The album contains well-appropriated influences that range from Robert Johnson to
R.L. Burnside. Add some hipster-approved
fuzz to a pair of oddball hollowbody guitars,
a little too much reverb on the vocals, and
you get the kind of retro environment well
traveled by Jack White, the North Mississippi Allstars, Black Keys, and Led Zeppelin.
One-chord stomps like "Follow You
Down" resembles Bob Dylan singing a field
holler. "A Buried Man" with its tasty melodic
blues counterpoint morphs into full on epic
garage-rock on "Wind Collides." Minus
a bass player, songs like "Darkest Hour"
and "Ghost" provide tight musicianship,
eerie atmosphere, and enthralling band
chemistry. It's good stuff. - OJ
and keyboard, wraps his mastery around
every one. He slashes and burns on "Can't
Go Back To Memphis" and smolders on the
title song, a DiMucci duet with Paul Simon.
"The Apollo King," a memoir of the
Apollo Theater in the '50s ring true as Vivino flings out chugging Chuck Berry-style
doublestops. He offers sympathetic backing
on the ballad "Visionary Heart."
On the two covers - Tampa Red's "I
Ain't For It" and the Lightnin' Hopkins
tune "Katie Mae" - Vivino adds tough and
authentic licks. The music here attests to
the 76-year-old DiMucci's continued vigor.
- Rich Kienzle
and the Clinch
new York Is My
the Bronx doo-wop
singer who became
immortal in 1961
with Dion and the Belmonts ("Teenager
In Love"), and on solo rock hits like "The
Wanderer" re-invented himself as a folkblues singer after producer John Hammond
signed him to Columbia in 1962 (the year
after Hammond signed Bob Dylan).
While the folk commentary "Abraham,
Martin & John" put Dion back on the
charts, blues has been the focus of his work.
Working here with his co-producer, guitar
master Jimmy Vivino, DiMucci opts for a
raw, edgy approach.
Dion wrote 10 of the 12 numbers here,
and Vivino, who plays amplified guitar
The Complete Jessup
Formed in 1946, the Stanley Brothers
were the second bluegrass group, following
Bill Monroe's. But lead singer and rhythm
guitarist Carter Stanley died in 1966 at age
41. Banjo-playing brother Ralph formed the
Clinch Mountain Boys, and is still going
strong at 89.
In 1970, he was introduced to two teens
who'd patterned their brand of bluegrass
after the Stanleys - 16-year-old Ricky
Skaggs and Keith Whitley, a year younger.
The following year, the pair recorded a