Posts Tagged ‘No Quarter Records’

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After a year of touring, The Solar Motel Band returned to the studio last spring with Jeff Ziegler (War on Drugs, Kurt Vile) to put to tape the massive and immense “The Rarity of Experience”. This double album (officially The Rarity of Experience part I & II) sees Forsyth and his band stretching out their sound beyond anywhere they’ve gone before, touching on all corners of progressive, psychedelic and post-rock.

They began as more of an out-there, avant-garde experimental jam rock/jazz rock kind of guy who’s been moving towards the center. The Rarity of Experience was made about three years ago, and  I was just blown away by the record.  Forsyth has been traveling along the roads that bands like Television did.  He brings a lot of other elements, too. I hear Led Zeppelin when I hear him, I sometimes I hear jazz stuff like Coltrane, if he had played guitar. They did an impromptu freeform show where they played three songs for one hour at a club in New York City called Nublu.

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This is an absolute barnstormer!, Mighty fine…oh, yes indeed!
‘The Calvary Cross’ is incandescently stunning!!…Richard Thompson filtered through Lou Reed.

Chris Forsyth · The Solar Motel Band The Rarity of Experience ℗ 2016 No Quarter Records

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Philadelphia’s Chris Forsyth has long proven himself a skillful and inventive modern guitarist, one whose combination of hard-won chops and dazzling natural ability can easily awe the sort of people who maintain Tumblr pages devoted to photos of pedal boards. It’s always been pretty clear that the guy, to borrow a phrase, knows the literature. But on the new double LP The Rarity of Experience , Forsyth proves himself to be equally as adept a composer and bandleader as he is guitar stylist. Though the album may be loosely divided by a more frenzied and fiery first half and a mellower, more idiosyncratic second act, to view The Rarity Of Experience as merely two sides of a coin would be inaccurate, as Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band, over the course of nine originals and a cover of Richard Thompson’s “The Calvary Cross,” sustains momentum while evoking a wide range of moods.

The Solar Motel Band is Forsyth’s not-so-secret weapon. Much has already been written about the dynamic rhythm section of bassist Peter Kerlin and drummer Steven Urgo, whose sensitive and powerful contributions continue to establish the firm foundation upon which the group creates its unique synergy. Non-touring member and frequent Forsyth collaborator Shawn E. Hansen adds variety and verve to the Solar Motel Band’s guitars/bass/drums format with his expansive and expressive use of Sequential Circuits’ new Prophet 6 synthesizer. And second guitarist Nick Millevoi, the newest member of the group, proves a crucial ingredient and a perfect foil, complimenting Forsyth’s Stratocaster slink with flashy passages of tremolo picking and a distinctly raunchier, more robust tone.

Forsyth knows how good his band is, which is probably why he has chosen to revisit two of his previously released tunes, both originally released on 2012’s Kenzo Deluxe as a solo pieces. The Rarity of Experience’s reimagining of “Boston Street Lullaby” is a clinic in tension and restraint, while “The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues,” replete with the hand drum patter of percussionist Ryan Sawyer and the spacey tenor sax and trumpet of the New York ecstatic jazz stalwart Daniel Carter,

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Cecil Taylor once observed that “the roots [of a musician] show more in maturity than in youth.” If this is true, “The Rarity Of Experience, Pt. 2” may provide the album’s most revealing glimpse into Forsyth’s teenage playbook, pitting the arachnidian guitar wanderings of The Days Of Wine and Roses against the rhythmic lurch of Remain In Light. Similarly, on the gorgeous “Harmonious Dance,” Forsyth’s bubbly auto-wah, combined with Hansen’s saturated synth twinkle and the rhythm section’s slippery minimalism, flashes back to Tortoise’s jazzy period circa TNT.

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Joan Shelley’s music is startling,  It startles because of its closeness, the near-instant sense of familiarity we feel when you listen to it. Her songs fill the air around you, echoing and resounding like a voice lost in the later of American and British folk revivals – some Anne Briggs maybe even a little of Linda Thompson. But none of them are “trad arr. Shelley.” Joan wrote them all. Listen to her sing and it’s evident. You’ve never heard that voice before, either. its just perfect and timeless. Electric Ursa was recorded in Louisville, Kentucky and marks Joan’s first release for No Quarter Records.

It includes collaborations with new labelmate Nathan Salsburg, as well as several other of Louisville’s fine musicians. In the eight songs that make up this record, we are seeing an artist in her stride, able to move seamlessly between darkness & light, attempting to reconcile the wild expanse of the future with the burdens of memory. And at the center of it all are songs of a nature beautiful, precise, and clear vocals , delivered to us by her singular voice.

Over the past five years, Joan Shelley has recorded several albums, toured with her band, on her own, and as a duo with Daniel Martin Moore, playing concerts for spellbound audiences all over the globe.

Upcoming shows  UK tour dates:

04 Mar | The Glad Cafe, GLASGOW ,05 Mar | The Old Fire Station, PENRITH, 06 Mar | View Two Gallery, LIVERPOOL ,07 Mar | The Lounge at Gullivers, MANCHESTER, 08 Mar | De La Warr Pavilion, BEXHILL-ON-SEA ,09 Mar | Regal Eagle Session, LONDON, 10 Mar | Rough Trade West, LONDON 6pm, 11 Mar | The Green Note, LONDON

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With a new 5 song EP-mini Album out on No Quarter Records ” Intensity Ghost” a mix of Television, Grateful Dead, guitar workouts,

In Television’s classic guitar strung album from 1977, Tom Verlaine issues a shuffling call to action. First, he’s “just waiting,” then “hesitating” for “a kiss of death, the embrace of life” — life only comes to him. But then something shakes Verlaine in the third chorus as a defiant voice finally boasts, “I ain’t waiting, uh-uh.” That’s where the music finds purpose, with the iconic riff suddenly becoming a staccato slash through the dark.

And that’s where guitarist Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band takes the name of a new track, “I Ain’t Waiting,” from its forthcoming album “Intensity Ghost“.