Taking Folk Music and Americana Imagery To the Max.
This is the third 3Hattrio album I have, yet the first I’ve reviewed (and possibly listened to).
Why? You may well ask.
For the benefit of new readers I’m pretty much a One Man Band with the help of a couple of friends who chip in with reviews when time allows. Therefore selecting albums to listen to then actually write about is obviously time consuming; so my selections can be quite arbitrary; and in this case ……. I thought the groups name to be a bit off putting.
No more – no less.
But; several of my peers seem smitten with this trio so I thought ….. why not? I can’t be right all of the time.
So; on a windswept and sunny day last week I sat down and donated three hours to 3Hattrio.
Time well spent?
3Hattrio describe themselves as purveyors of Desert Music; and that is evident straight from opening track; In Or Out. It’s most certainly Americana in essence; but has a hot and dusty ‘feel’ to it, which harks up the imagery photographer Ansel Adams is famous for; stark, interesting and intrinsically beautiful.
Once I had that in my mind; I think I ‘got’ 3Hattrio.
While Miss Tilly, errs on the edges of Folk Music it has an edge to it that most I hear these days fails to manage.
For me though, this album revolves around the moods and senses that the group create; probably starting with Gallus; a bass guitar creating an ever increasing heartbeat as the other instruments enter the fray; giving a feeling of fear and drama that could easily sit behind a video of someone lost in the rocks or mountains.
For just three musicians; Hal Cannon, Eli Wrankle and Greg Istock can really fill the room with acoustic sonic bursts ……… the (almost) Avant Garde Disquieting being a prime example; but Lost In The Woods, Attack of the Shadows and the tightly wrapped Never Going Home are similarly haunting and bring elements of Modern American Classical tones to the story too.
Selecting a Favourite Track is none to easy; as each track is intrinsically different; while combining to create some kind of soundtrack; and this achieve with great musical dexterity.
But; two tracks did stick in my mind over the following days; the finale Pushing You Down; with a rather pained and emotional vocal performance sounds a bit like Robbie Robertson’s early solo offerings with a smidgen of Tom Waits in the lyrics; the other; No In-between sounds like a Modern Jazz/Avant Garde hybrid albeit with a haunting, monastic drone. Confused? You may well be …… but it’s a staggering five and a half minutes of ‘music’.
I have no idea if LOST SESSIONS fits in alongside previous offerings; but in its own rite I’ve grown to not just like it; but be seriously impressed by each and every track; which as I said earlier combine to be some kind of Soundtrack (to an imaginary Western?).
Most of what I review is destined to be played live in a Club of one sort or another; this on the other hand needs to be heard in a Concert Hall with great acoustics to get the best from it.
Released 26th March 2021
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