97

Susan Alcorn and Dr. Eugene Chadbourne: An Afternoon in Austin...

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Susan Alcorn and Dr. Eugene Chadbourne: An Afternoon in Austin... Think country music, and crisp, three minute twangin' story songs float through your head; think harmolodics, and the extended free-flowing instrumental improvisations championed by Ornette Coleman come to mind. A combination of the two? Get on outta here.

But as strange and incompatible as this musical marriage might sound, a couple of listens to An Afternoon in Austin..or Country Music for Harmolodic Souls by steel guitarist Susan Alcorn and vocalist/guitarist/banjo man Dr. Eugene Chadbourne suggest a logical, perhaps inevitable combination of concepts.

The CD is organized around some standard and relatively concise country stuff: Mickey Newbury's "How I Love Them Old Songs" and Loretta Lynn's "I Got Caught," with the harmolodic tinge creeping into stretched out takes on A.P. Carter's (the Carter Family Patriarch) "Hello Stranger" and (the diamond in the hatband of the set) an eleven and a half minute, meandering take on Merle Haggard's "If We Make it Through December." This tune is full of improvisational twangs and twitters and eddying steel songlets, featuring Dr. Chadbourne's unpretentious and Merle-esque vocals—a song that sounds like some kind of off-the-cuff, down-on-the-luck, blue collar Symphony Americana.

Harmolodics takes center stage on two extended improv pieces, "Albourne" and "Sugene". Loose, relaxed, back porch atmosopherics, conjuring surreal images of sage brush and barbed wire and dusty cowboy boots, sun-bleached cattle skulls and pale blue skies.

Gorgeous, compelling and very American sounds. Makes you wonder why this hasn't been done before.

Contact boxholdr@aol.com

Track Listing: How I Love Them Old Songs, If We Make it Through December, Albourne, I Dreamt I Was Young Again, I Got Caught, I've Lived My Life, Sugene, Hello Stranger

Personnel: Susan Alcorn, pedal steel guitar; Dr. Eugene Chadbourne, accoustic guitar, banjo

Title: An Afternoon in Austin... | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Boxholder Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A&B
Golden Throat Recordings
2010
buy
Ambient Visage
Golden Throat Recordings
2007
buy
And I Await The...
Golden Throat Recordings
2007
buy
Concentration
Golden Throat Recordings
2004
buy

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Good 'n' Cheap: The Eggs Over Easy Story" CD/LP/Track Review Good 'n' Cheap: The Eggs Over Easy Story
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "You'll Never Know" CD/LP/Track Review You'll Never Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 31, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.