On "Hope and Despair, the artists intertwine somber themes, paralleling the song's title; Ray's weeping slide guitar lines create a sense of melodrama. But the duo injects front-porch bluegrass, jigs and recurring themes into these original compositions. They manufacture suspense, performing the melodies in unison and branching out into some heated jab-and-spar motifs. If you listen very carefully, you'll notice subliminal inferences from various genres. For example, Ray will intermittently render sweeping chord voicings via his 22-string guitar, often used for accentuation and East Indian hues.
The bluesy progressions on 3 couple with toe-tapping boogie grooves to generate gobs of excitement. The musicians' close working relationship and intuitive understanding of each other's thought processes connect mightily here. Sparks fly throughout! Zealously recommended.
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Track Listing: Axis Mundi; Hipshake Tanz; Hope And Despair; I Can See For Miles; Eternal Taverna; Penumbra; Small Town; Morphic Resonance; House Of Earth; Listen Be Perhaps; Strange Gods.
Personnel: Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica; Scot Ray: 6, 12, & 22 string slide guitars.
Record Label: Woetone Records
Style: Beyond Jazz
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