Posts Tagged ‘GospelBeach’

Bobby Lee

xThis week marks the release of Bobby Lee’s follow-up to his excellent 2020 debut Shakedown in Slabtown. Double the joy because the first LP is getting a vinyl UK vinyl edition while he’ll land at Tompkins Square here in the US for the physical release of Origin Myths. Lee (GospelbeacH, Canyon Family) added to the excellent run of cosmic country that permeated the air last year and his latest sinks deeper into the streaked skies and rolling vistas that Slabtown began to explore. With a warm layer of tape hiss running underneath, Lee lays out eight (twelve on the LP) more landscapes of vision quest country, letting the listener wander in a heatstroke haze with occasional dips into oases that may or may not truly exist. It’s an LP that vibrates in rare air, finding its home weaving through the heat-ripple haze off of the long dusted pavement.

While the last record had more of a boogie element to it, melting down JJ Cale and and Golden Gunn choogle into a languorous stretch of slow shifting psychedelic headspace, this time he leans heavier into the Bruce Langhorne touches that curled at the edges of his debut. The long, lingering feel of Western expanses creeps into the out-of-body buzz, lifting the listener into the strata above the plains to float between the heart and the horizon. Joining SUSS, Bobby Walker Jr, and North Americans, Lee helps to round out a new wave of top line ambient country. Like his peers, Lee excels a channeling the twin prongs of the American Southwest — the beauty and the loneliness — into an aural ache strong enough to pull sorrow and serenity from the marrow by the milligram. Shakdown in Slabtown set the listener free to enter Bobby’s strain of cosmic vibration, Origin Myths finds the thrum of the canyon and sets it to tape.

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Trevor Beld Jimenez

Country-psych veteran Trevor Beld Jimenez has been a name kicking around rosters for years — popping up on Fruit Bats, Kacey Johansing, and DIOS recordings. He was found hunkering down with Neal Casal and Brent Rademaker in GospelbeacH, and with his songwriting partner Tim Ramsey in Parting Lines and Tall Tales & The Silver Lining. For his solo debut on Rademaker’s Curation Records, the songwriter digs deeper into the tie that seems to bind them all – the salt-flecked sundown shimmer of California calm. Rooted in ‘70s songwriter hallmarks, the songs here are swinging from wounded Petty and Nilsson to the AM gold of Bread and America. The album shares a lot of ground with the musical foxholes of his past, feeling like many of the songs wouldn’t be out of place in any of the bands that bear his name, though it might hew closest to the feeling of Parting Lines. Like the songs on the Lines’ debut, there’s a porch-at-dusk feeling to I Like It Here and its hard not to give in to the familiarity.

More AOR than cosmic country, though, Jimenez is steeped in the well-shined pop that’s hovering a bit above the usual twang-flecked purveyors that populate Raven of late. That he’s been around the Fruit Bats crew isn’t surprising, Jimenez shares a lot of pop impulses with Eric, D. Johnson, and its not unexpected that the Bats songwriter lends a hand to the record. Also finding their way into the mix are contemporaries and cohorts, Clay Finch (Mapache) and Pearl Charles along with studio heavy players like Nelson Bragg and Bob Glaub. While Jimenez can sometimes kick up a bit of dust, the record’s speed is often found sinking into the horizon, heavy with a sigh of the past and a drink at half mast. It’s not always a bad place to be. It’s certainly comfortable while it lasts and when the alcohol wears off, the head swim of melancholy lingers for the night.



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Trevor Beld Jimenez – “Comeback Kid”

The past few years have been a blessing of cosmic country, often leaning towards an embrace of the past — landing between the Burritos’ blurred swagger and Crazy Horse’s toughened wander into the rough hills. Veteran songwriter Trevor Beld Jimenez slips between the salt-scrubbed breezes to bring a vision that’s pulled away from this Kodachrome prism of ‘70s country rock. He’s still reaching into the auburn arms of the California sun, but this is steeped in a more AOR, AM radio softness. “Comeback Kid” turns away from the glare that others embrace to find itself aligning with an unlikely love of Bread and America. The former’s Baby I’m-A Want You feels like it’s left a particular impression on Jimenez. As a contributor to several RSTB faves (GospelbeacH, Dios, Fruit Bats) Trevor’s no novice when it comes to the sounds that touch the wavy end of the country spectrum, but the clarity and care he imparts to the song gives a new life to the rock radio staples that sometimes wind up maligned in hindsight.

The song appears on the upcoming I Like It Here which ropes in a large roster of impressive talent Clay Finch, Pearl Charles, Nelson Bragg, Bob Glaub, Kacey Johansing, and Eric D. Johnson. The record lands November 13th on Curation Records.



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