Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bill Tucker - Mythological Creatures

1980 Records/Reformer Records

Bare-bones acoustic guitar and relatable vocals are the heart of Bill Tucker.
His lyrics are both personal and political, with some storytelling thrown in as well. A sense of road trip Americana is driven with multiple track names referring to American states. Bill collaborated with an impressive community of friends in order to offer folk, rock, and ambient sounds with surprises in store. These musical surprises separate Mythological Creatures from other folk albums.

Aside from vocals and guitars, a variety of other instruments and techniques are used by Bill and company. Some of the sounds provided include: harmonica, flute, fiddle, violins, cello, bass guitar, saw, piano, synthesizer, melodica, tape manipulation, as well as candid spoken word captured from friends.

"Sleepy Tuesday" is radio worthy, with its confessional lyricism and nearly indie pop melody. I was taken aback by the trio of guitars in "Red Leaves"; this track is a must for anyone appreciative of classical guitar.
Imagine my surprise to hear the track "Majesty"; electric guitar, singing chorus, old synthesizer, and a saw! I wasn't expecting anything like this at all. Bill used a vintage Univox Minikorg 2 synthesizer, reminding one of Pink Floyd.
The politics, collaboration, and folk of Bill Tucker and friends is best manifested in their spirited cover of Woody Guthrie-Jonni Greth's "Your Land".
Bill Tucker's voice has a lovable cadence, though it pales in comparison to his explosive live performance. For example, "Westside Strangler" gave me chills at his live show; unfortunately, that same energy didn't translate over onto the album version of the song.

Overall, Mythological Creatures demonstrates an affable artist who values collaboration, politics, honesty, and experimentation in music.

Click here to buy: Bill Tucker - Mythological Creatures

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