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Shane Parish: Undertaker Please Drive Slow

Glenn Astarita By

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Guitarist Shane Parish has amassed a strong following due to his affiliation with the ultra-progressive band Ahleuchatistas, known for its impossibly complex unison song-forms, neo-psyche, fuzoid-metal or as his website states: ..."almost like Fugazi meets Captain Beefheart." These days Parish and percussionist Ryan Oslance are performing under the Aleuchatistas moniker as a duo, while dishing out avant-rock sonic-scapes that touch upon numerous genres and then some. Besides the guitarist's other collaborations that usually push the proverbial envelope, he puts the metal down for this solo acoustic guitar set, performing public domain works at a cabin in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

With this outing, Parish advises that "Undertaker is performed in real time with no edits. I relaxed into my own voice and simply followed my breath." In addition, this recording caught the attention of new music and experimental New York-based composer, saxophonist and producer John Zorn who promptly released the album on his Tzadik record label. This factor alone would provide a hint that the music is not your plain old vanilla type fare, as the guitarist is by no means going through the motions here.

Parish employs disparate tunings amid some existential interpretations of these time-honored slices of Americana. On the country-blues piece "Trouble Will Soon Be Over," he places emphasis on the lead lines while plucking hard, where you hear every slide scratch, nip and tuck. But he leaps into the following track "Judgment," with contrasting chord clusters and bass notes via a finger-style approach, spiced with a resonating melodic hook, and countered by some unorthodox treatments. Moreover, Parish uses space to let sub-motifs breathe, intertwined with notions of organic minimalism.

"John Hardy" features ringing harmonic output and moments of solstice. Whereas "Oh Death" and "The Maid Freed From The Gallows" are densely wrought folk-isms, complete with softly strutting flows, tinted with a stout constitution. Thus, Parish's deeply personalized spin on roots music transcends any semblances of playing it safe. More importantly, he establishes a musical conduit that pays homage to tradition while unlocking new passageways, enacted with the utmost sincerity.

Track Listing: Ain t No Grave; Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground; Danville Gal; Trouble Will Soon Be Over; Judgment; The Last Kind Words; I Hope I Live a Few More Days; John Hardy; Hangman; Katie Cruel; Can't Nobody Hide From God; Oh Death; The Maid; Freed From the Gallows; Will the Circle Be Unbroken; Murder's Home

Personnel: Shane Parish: guitar.

Title: Undertaker Please Drive Slow | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Tzadik

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