Saturday, April 9, 2016

Phil Cook - Dead Tongues -- Black Cat - April 8 2016

Dead Tongues - OK, first let's get the pet peeve out of the way. I don't like the trend of band names for solo projects, although there are complications making this far from a hard and fast pet peeve. Ironically although this is a solo banjoman/guitarist, Phil Cook will next play with a a full band. Anyway, there is some help half way through the set when a keyboardist comes out and adds some organ. That fills it out a bit, but it is still a sparse rural Americana folk at work. There is some blues moves as the resonator guitar has a lot more going on than the more average banjo playing. The vocals of Ryan Gustafson carry his songs further with style and deep thought within. It's a little too laid back for me, but no real faults here.
 photo: David Tanner

Phil Cook - Phil Cook was just here at the DC9 and I made up for missing that show by coming around tonight. I was joined by many, many more than could fit into the DC9, so Phil Cook's personality and great music is really catching fire around town. No surprise as he was in the fine Megafaun and other bands with various Bon Iver comrades. He has got a full band with him called the Guitarheels and they are fully locked into his musical lead. Early in the set, Cook explains that his brain works at the speed of his music which is a midtempo groove that is active, and engaged, but not out of control. It is a good place for your brain and his guitar work makes it a fine place as well. He and the band can really jam well, but they stop well short of being lumped in with jam bands as the songs are strong and balanced with guitar leads and the various choruses and verses. But it is the overall warmth and musical groove that keeps this set engaging from beginning to end. This is definitely music to see in a club and it can really brighten your evening.

Facebook grab of the Day: Since Phil Cook is a 'science guy' when not rocking out, this is appropriate: 

No comments: