Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Joseph Allred

Feeding Tube resumes its breakneck schedule of underground gems with a new release from Boston picker Joseph Allred. The guitarist has been knocking out great tapes for some time, including a few this year on the quietly endearing new imprint Garden Portal recs, but this marks the man’s third LP proper, following up 2016’s Fire & Earth for Scissor Tail. In his tape travels Allred has explored the persona of Poor Faulkner, a lonesome middle-aged man with an inner sadness and outer problem with ghosts of the non-metaphorical variety. Though his works are instrumental, this character’s narrative informs the tangle of strings that Allred weaves over the course of O Meadowlark. The titles tell of a man visted by a bird, coaxed to a wooded cabin in search of an Angel who brings a vision to Poor Faulkner. The album only plays out through his ascension with the promise of that vision to come in a later album.

While the narrative adds a nice color and emotional heft to the stringwork, even without the tale the album is an engrossing listen. Following in the Takoma tradition, Allred’s phrasing knocks between the river rambles of Basho and the Eastern sun salutations that Richard Bishop prefers. He swaps between guitar and banjo with ease, using the latter to rise like the sun in his vignette. Allred’s style is absorbing and it’s hard to escape the web of notes that he weaves. They surround the listener, dancing, dizzying, taunting, coaxing. He pulls the album back from the brink of technical showmanship, careful not to let it become just a flex of talent. Rather he imparts every note with the proper emotional heft to make the tempest of sound a heartbreaking aural journey. If you’re new to Allred’s catalog, this is a nice entry point and here’s hoping that Faulkner’s epiphany warrants a sequel to this stunner.



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Major Stars – “For Today”

Its a great day when Major Stars are back in action. The veteran psych band has been pushing their volume dipped heavy psych for nine albums now and the first taste of their latest for Drag City is a reminder that while there are plenty of new band’s crawling for the mantle, some lone warriors earned it long ago and might be hard to topple. The band has cycled through a few vocalist in the past few years but newcomer Hayley Thompson-King seems fit for the fury that the axis of Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar are pushing behind her. The track is as heavy as anything The Dead Weather have been kicking out these past few years, but without the truly glossy topcoat. Major Stars have always known how to get a bit gritty and dirty, without ever losing volume and impact. This is a good omen of things to come on Motion Set.

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