Jan 16, 2008

The Basilisk And The Reverend Glen-Lonesome Radio Heart

Lonesome Radio Heart. Say it quietly, three times. Sounds great doesn't it? Say it loudly if you will, because this band deserves a bigger audience. Their debut album is "The Basilisk And The Reverend Glen" and it is genuine, authentic music. Music grown from the soil, nurtured and cared for. Music full of earthy tones, dusty roads and life experience. This splendid album was originally released in 2006 as a solo project by lead singer and writer Paul Culp. Now he has a full band of 6 with him and hopefully after some more exposure their music will gain greater status. The current incarnation of the band came together in 2007 and includes three guitars (acoustic, noise and baritone), plus cello and drums. Based in Portland, Oregon their sound I think resembles that of fellow Portlanders Richmond Fontaine.

From my research a Basilisk is an Ancient European legendary animal, one that resembles a snake and can kill with a single glance. The Reverend Glen is a fictional character, who some of the stories are woven around. So put the two together and you get a rich tapestry of stories of life and death, love and hate. Drunken anthems and tales of outlaws. The first two tracks are reasonable, but nothing out of the ordinary. Just standard country rock. But when you arrive at track 3, "Forks and Pins" you realise that this album is quite a deal above the ordinary. Paul Culp's raspy voice intones a sombre tale of murder and destruction, a very impressive song. That is followed by the almost bluegrass like "Whiskey Mountain", a tale of Tennessee where all your troubles vanish away from the modern world. The next song is the centrepiece "Prunedale", a dark and stormy song with a incessant guitar line, very impressive. Other fine songs include the acoustic driven "Weasels and Beasts" with its fine harmonica and plaintive tone and the tender longing of "What Remains". Basically, this is a fine album full of many shades and styles. Dark and tempestuous, yet alternately upbeat and refreshing. Totally worth your time, a very sound investment for those seeking music with true heart and soul.

You can purchase this album from CD Baby.
MP3: Prunedale

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