Such a journey, the complexity of the songs with only a single instrument. It is rewarding on multiple levels and continues to be even after having been. SO SO SO GOOD!
Favorite track: he Porch in the Morning, and the Angel Returns.
J. M. Hart aka rowjimmy
Is American Primitive even a genre? Allred is not convinced but, if your record shelf has such a zone, this belongs there when it's not in your playlist.
Favorite track: The Woods in the Morning, and the Angel Descends.
Currently based in the Boston area, Joseph Allred was one of the players we first encountered at 2018’s Ten Thousand Incarnations of the Rose festival in Takoma Park MD. His playing had some Basho-esque sequencing that was highly engaging, and the rest of his set was was a killer, off-center swathe of string quiver we could not resist. O Meadowlark is his third solo vinyl (there are cassettes as well), and will surely please many heads.
Here’re Joseph’s words on how the album came together.
“I recorded this stuff at the end of last year all in one night without really intending anything in particular with it. After I sat and listened back to it a narrative came together really quickly and I reflected that in the song titles.
“’Poor Faulkner’ is a name I released music under for the first recordings I made several years ago, but he’s since become a character I sometimes tell stories about in my music, or sometimes I assume his perspective and play songs from there. He’s a very lonely middle aged man who lives in a house in a remote part of Tennessee. He thinks the house is haunted, and the ghosts he sees range from the ghost of a kitten to a woman’s ghost that his grandfather brought back from WWII.
“’O Meadowlark’ tells a story about him, partially from an outside perspective and partially from his perspective. He hears a bird and follows it into the woods, where he finds a cabin and is visited by an angel. He stays the night at the cabin, and struggles to understand what the angel is trying to convey to him. The next day the angel reappears and eventually takes him to a celestial place where he’s shown a vision. The album ends with his ascent, but doesn’t include the vision. I think that’s part of something new I’m working on at the moment.”
Using guitars and banjos the way they were meant to be used, Allred’s narrative unfolds like a strange movie just for you. Dig it now. -Byron Coley, 2019
What an album. Dark, disturbing ambient noise tracks sit uncomfortably alongside roughly gorgeous acoustic guitar pieces. Part John Fahey, part Amps for Christ, and still all its own. Anyone who can make an 18 minute noise piece feel like no time at all is a genius. pierrelefou