Northwest Folklife: Live from the 2011 Festival
2011: Northwest Folklife NWFL-CD-2503
Nell Robinson with John Reischman The Jaybirds
Cahalen Morrison and Eli West
Mary Sherhart Michael Lawson
The Jelly Rollers
My third year of designing the CDs in this series from Northwest Folklife has a delightful collection of performances. Im most impressed by the power of Spoonshines Robin and had the great pleasure of seeing Cahalen Morrison and Eli West perform On Gods Rocky Shore and several other pieces at the CD release party in Seattle. Aside from the Ravenna Woods track, which because of its truly unfortunate audio quality was almost cut from the CD, the album has a really nice flow presumably thanks to producer Kelli Faryars sequencing; it has a particularly nice close, coasting to the end with increasingly sweet and tender songs and performances.
I also have an unexpectedly strong affinity for the Jelly Rollers version of Reno Factory, a song I hadnt encountered before this. For me, it is redolent of the endured heat of a summer night (although this impression would be stronger if the brisk, brushing percussion element were absent, as it can seem to be when the track is played at quieter volume). This one brings images to my mind that have nothing to do with the lyric and more to do with the evoked eras1920s, 1930s, and late 1950s, to my ear, although my doorway to the latter is a 1965 context. Theres an industrial light fixture or two (the kind with an incandescent bulb under a wide shell, maybe glazed dark green on top) hanging above the otherwise dark indoors scene, that light baking coldlessly down on the scattered, immobilized denizens under it, and the setting as a whole implies both a distressed impermanence and the timelessness of those patches of life that drag on seemingly forever. Nice job, guys.
Comments © 2012 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.