CD SOLITAIRE [Spencer Bohren] (CD 4421429),
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SOLITAIRE [Spencer Bohren]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 3079962

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    This disc presents Spencer Bohren playing solo using a variety of instruments -- including his voice, which is getting stronger and more expressive with each outing. His singing is enhanced and supported by his often understated and outstanding handling of his instruments. These include electric and acoustic lap steel, electric and acoustic guitar, and a variety of rhythm instruments. He wrote or co-wrote five of the 11 songs featured here, combining his originals with the others he has selected into a cohesive whole. Both his selection of songs written by others and what he does with them are extraordinary. There is a version here of the Jagger-Richards classic "No Expectations" that brings whole new dimensions to this gem of a song. His restrained but eerie electric lap steel augments his expressive and haunting phrasing, bringing a level of agony and distress to the song that was only hinted at prior to this. His version of Hank Williams' oft-done "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" holds to a very country feel and shows another dimension that his voice can hold with authority. There are times when his big Guild guitar seems to whisper behind his vocals as if it were another voice. At other times, he cuts loose with some dazzling bottleneck guitar ("Been 'Round This World"), and he uses the lap steel to heighten the tension created by the vocals in a song like "Witch Doctor." This disc gives listeners a wide range of styles held together by the sense of mood and space Bohren creates with his music and the spaces he uses to frame that music. ~ Bob Gottlieb

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