Scrambled Brains

Shawn Phillips - Second Contribution [1970, A&M Records]

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Following up on his album Contribution, which had been released earlier the same year, on Second Contribution Shawn Phillips infuses regular folk music with some elaborate studio touches in the vein of Jethro Tull or King Crimson.  Beginning with the lengthily-titled song “She Was Waitin’ For Her Mother At The Station In Torino And You Know I Love You Baby But It’s Getting Too Heavy To Laugh (SWWFHMATSITAYKILYBBIGTH)”, and following it up with tracks like “Lookin Up Lookin Down”, “Whaz ‘Zat”, and “Schmaltz Waltz”, Phillips’ acoustic guitars are spritzed up with synth warbling, sitar, horns, and even orchestral flourishes.

Lyrically, the focus is on melancholy, nostalgia, and longing, sung in a sweet voice that meshes well with the other instruments, and there’s enough variance of the music to keep these themes from getting old over the course of the album.  Altogether, not too shabby.


Sonora Ritual - Worship The Sun [2013, self-released]

"The dominant part of the music is a sort of hard-edged desert rock, but juiced up with some stoner-friendly doom that manifests in a knack for slow and jagged chords, a bass tuned so low you can hear the strings rattle, and a firm knowledge of how and when to kick the feedback to maximum."

You can read the rest over at Ride With The Devil, >here<!