US - Illinois / US - New York- Full Moon 128 - 03/04/07
Death Songs for the Living
Transmit Sound/Legacy Records
Knowing the history of one (out of the two) the members of Gob Iron, the title of this record never put me in doubt that Jay Farrar would take Anders Parker along for a ride on the "death train". Farrar has been down this road before, most evidently on Uncle Tupelo's March 16-20, 1992 (obviously from when), but also his latest solo efforts has truly been acoustic blues wailings. He's never really strayed too far off the path he started on with Uncle Tupelo, as they created a new following of traditional American music.
So, here he's teamed up with Anders Parker, previously in Varnaline, whose solo work is absolutely a worthwhile listen. My favourite, the latest, self-titled from Baryton records. These two play all instruments on these 19 tracks, whereas 10 of them are "songs" and 9 are instrumental snippets. Only one new composition (Nicotine Blues), and the rest are old songs in a new suit.
What grabs me with this collection is really the same thing that has taken me (both soft and barely) with the previous Farrar work; his sincere take on the storytelling, the instrumentation and his pure interest in setting a mood that is fair to the tunes. Favourites here are the beautiful "Wayside Tavern", "Nicotine Blues", Little Girl And Dreadful Snake". Unfortunately these men played their last gig as Gob Iron around New Years, but hopefully they'll pick up their joint axes again and let us hear this material live. Until then, there's a new Son Volt record out later this month!
Copyright © 2007 Anders Svendsen