Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pearls & Brass guitarist takes things down a notch

Just reviewed the new self-titled Randall of Nazareth album (out soon on Drag City)...an acoustic folk-blues departure from Randall Huth's normal Pearls & Brass gig. Here's some of what I said. Follow the jump for the rest if you like:
"Huth is the guitar player from Pearls and Brass, a heavy, boogie blues rock trio most frequently compared to Blue Cheer and Cream. Here, in his first solo album, he unplugs and downshifts, trading the sludge and distortion of hard rock for delicate webs of acoustic picking, the howl of amplified arena anthems for spookily high pitched reveries. It's a move not unlike Zeppelin's transition from II to III, and yet far odder, more personal and less stage-y. There's an eccentricity to these cuts, especially rattling, percussive, Eastern-tinged 'The Way', that bespeaks lots of time alone and wide remove from any commercial considerations.
"Huth's solo album is by no means a traditional blues album; listen to it side-by-side with Delta players like Robert Johnson or Son House and you'll notice that it lacks the swaggering rhythm of old-time blues. Nor is it really straight folk, despite the pristine flurries of six-string and aching modal melancholy. Indeed, highlight cut 'Ballad of a Sorry Lonely Breaking Man' borrows a little from both traditions, employing the familiar blues progressions, the transparently simple song structures of Appalachian music. And still, the song is its own thing, as weirdly tranquil as it is mournfully intense, taking flights into high yodeling fancy. It's the sort of song that sounds, on the surface, like it might have come drifting off any porch in the hollows – and yet so strange that it never did and never will."
More here: http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/3890

MP3 of "Ballad of a Sorry Lonely Breaking Man"

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