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Album Review

Luke Sellick / Andrew Renfro: Small Vacation

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Bassist Luke Sellick says, "I hope this is a record you can enjoy for its musical conception and inventiveness, or just to relax [with] at the end of a long day." It succeeds at this, in part, because the tunes that are presented here are ones that almost everybody has heard, and others are ones that sound like you should have heard them. There is also high level musicianship and good time, sitting-around-the-living-room spontaneity involved throughout.

Small Vacation is Sellick's pairing with guitarist Andrew Renfroe, a relaxed immersion into some of the traditional with "Hills Of Mexico," and "Wondrous Love," a couple of rock tunes—Neil Young's "Tell Me Why" and Tom Petty "Wildflowers"—some blues, from Skip James and Mississippi Fred McDowell.

The set is characterized by a laid-back, folksy vibe in its exploration of the improvisational possibilities the tunes offer. And if it sounds like a project guitarist Bill Frisell might tackle, that's a good thing.

The whole world may be familiar with Dolly Parton's "Jolene." Sellick and Renfroe crank the tempo up, giving the sounds frisky edge; and Beach Boy Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" is given a fluid treatment. Like everything else offered up here, it is obvious that Sellick and Renfroe love these tunes, treating them with respect while putting their own distinctive stamp on them.

Skip James' "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" sounds like something dredged up out of the muddy Mississippi, and Jimmy Webb's "Witchita Lineman," made famous by Glen Campbell, wraps up the show on a light, bright note, with some of the disc's most intricate bass / guitar interplay, to close out this deftly done set of engaging and familiar compositions.

Track Listing

Hills Of Mexico; Wildflowers; Tell Me Why; Wondrous Love; Someday Baby; Jolene; God Only Knows; Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues; Witchita Lineman.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Luke Sellick: bass; Andrew Renfro: guitar.

Album information

Title: Small Vacation | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

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