joseph childress / white white quilt Split (7", £5.75)label: Empty Cellar
Recorded by the American Opry while trespassing inside an abandoned three-story watertower, this record pairs haunted songs from Bay Area folk favourites-JOSEPH CHILDRESS and THE WHITE WHITE QUILT. Saturated in natural reverb, these are single-take, battery-powered field recordings at their finest. Joseph Childress's spirited performance of "Leaving the Barren Ground" is captivating and raw. The arrangement, improvised on the spot, features members of the Quilt throwing themselves against the walls of the water tower to create the cavernous sound of over-sized drums. Joseph's sorrowful wails imbue his track with an uneasy beauty that will be familiar to fans of Jackson C. Frank, Roy Harper, and Bill Fay. The White White Quilt respond with "Papa", a sedated slab of soulful folk reminiscent of early Cat Power records, where each quiet verse unfolds with an easy calm similar to that found on J.J. Cale and Devendra Banhart albums. Together, these acoustic tracks create a well-engineered snapshot of an unlikely venue. Pressed on clear vinyl in an edition of 500 copies. Includes a download with an unreleased bonus track by the WWQ.
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