Fire and Earth

by Joseph Allred

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  • Ltd. Pressing of 200 (hand numbered, hand painted india inked, letterpressed jacket)
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A few copies still available via Revolver Midheaven
www.midheaven.com/item/fire-and-earth-by-allred-joseph

There’s more than one mountain to climb in American Primitive guitar territory, and Joseph Allred favors the holy one. Like Robbie Basho, he totes a 12-string guitar, augments his playing with other instruments and some line-in-the-sand singing, and uses his music to convey mystical and nature-dazzled themes. But he’s no copycat. Instead of feverish exaltation and slack-jawed awe, he expresses humility and a more measurable appreciation for his subjects. And some of his recurrent instrumental effects do not come from Basho’s playbook at all; the blurry tremolo effect he employs on “Holy Blue Window” and “A Waltz for Winter” recalls the early work of James Blackshaw. On two of the album’s nine tracks, Allred sets his guitar aside to play harmonium. “Musica Humana” is so closely recorded that you can hear him hum subliminally along with the melody while his feet work the pedals. It feels as intimate as the thoughts of a true nature lover communing with the divine during a long afternoon walk through the woods. Allred lifts his voice just once, on the hymn-like “Useless Air.” His high quaver is not as easy to embrace as his strumming, but the song’s prayerful quality is of a piece with the rest of the album.

- Dusted Magazine, Bill Meyer

credits

released November 18, 2016

All music by Joseph Allred
Cover art painted individually by Joseph Allred
Back covers letter pressed by Dylan G. Aycock

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