Yair Yona: Remember (2010)
Throughout the album, Yona experiments with different strategies that reflect on past legacies, showing immense knowledge, and delivers his compositions in an assured and unique voice, and in a highly accessible manner. The opening track is a clear tribute to the past, with its spare bluesy slide guitar strumming, but Yona mixes the familiar sounds with an atmospheric mysterious drone. "Are You Smarter Than a 35 TV Host?" is a sentimental straightforward folksy tune that is threatened by distant noises. "Russian Dance" skips between traditional timbres, Yona sounding as if he is playing a balalaikaand a dense, more sophisticated elaboration of such imaginary dance.
"Pharoah" contains fantastic, virtuous slide guitar playing, wisely composed and delivered with a fully-formed and singular voice. On "Straggled So Hard," Yona echoes his folksy acoustic guitar with exceptional electric guitar playing. "Floodgate Opens To Allow A Ship To Come Through (As It Carries The Passenger Fahey On It)" is a direct tribute to Fahey's drone-based playing, but its dark sounds are still rooted in some obscure traditional guitar finger-picking. "Brave Walls" is an acoustic six-string guitar solo that pays its dues to Kottke's melodic style.
Yona concludes this impressive release with the genre-bending "Skinny Fists," that skips and celebrates his passion for all of his diverse influences.
Track Listing: Remember; Are You Smarter Than a 35 Year Old TV Host?; Russian Dance; Pharaoh; Struggled So Hard; Floodgate Opens to Allow a Ship to Come Through (As It Carries the Passenger Fahey On It); Broken Rockin' Chair; Brave Walls; Sympathy For the Jack--Skinny Fists.
Personnel: Yair Yona: 6 and 12 string acoustic, electric, resonator, bass and Weissenborn slide guitars, banjo, synthesizers; Or Bahir: electric guitars (6, 10); Issar Tennenbaum: drums (10); String Quartet (10).
Record Label: Strange Attractors Audio House