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The Legend Of Vernon McAlister (CD)
A rustic strain of ambient Americana has been in the wind for the last year or so, with Daniel Lanois's solo pedal steel album, Belladonna, and Jeff Beal's literally haunted score to Carnivàle taking American roots into ambient spaces. Richard Leo Johnson's The Legend of Vernon McAlister may have upped the ante. Johnson was already a critically acclaimed fret-burner, bringing two-handed tapping techniques to his double-necked acoustic. Here, he opts for a gentler, but possibly more avant-garde sound, trading his acoustic for a National Steel guitar. Like a Dobro on steroids, the National Steel is a metal guitar whose overtones and strange resonances make it capable of the most unearthly sounds. Creating a mythological narrative around the story of Vernon McAlister, whose name is actually etched on Johnson's ancient instrument, the guitarist creates a sound that is both mystical and rural, like the lost ghost of McAlister slipping his sound through static and haze. Johnson overdubs himself, picking and sliding notes and often using an e-bow that makes the instrument sound like a musical saw. The Legend of Vernon McAlister traverses the Appalachian fantasy of "Morning Glory," serene backwoods reveries on "Side Road to Splendor," and experimental tone poems on "Briar Patch Harmony." Richard Leo Johnson has created an album of hidden and subtle charms.
139 SEK 
 
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Specifications
Type: CD
Recorded: 2006
Release Date: 2006-01-31
Label: Cuneiform
Country: US
Item No: RUNE222
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Track List
01 Morning glory
02 Ove and trouble
03 Serve up the red clay and rhubarb
04 The porch faces sunset
05 Angry angel
06 Briar patch harmony
07 Uncertain weather
08 Quarter-tone soldiers marching on the mill
09 Everything is beautiful and sad
10 First night alone
11 Side road to splendor
12 Boxcar dreams and dark tunnels
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