OIL TAN BOW, the latest cd from Canadian singer-songwriter Douglas September is a collection of songs which defy description. Combining delta blues, dust bowl balladeering, shortwave/techno-fizz, and aural collage experimentation with a literary element suggestive of William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Harpo Marx and the 21st century sensibilities of Jonathan Lethem, OIL TAN BOW represents a reinvention of roots music.
Teamed with guitarist and long-time collaborator Robby Aceto and looping/remix guru David Torn (SPLaTTeRCeLL), Douglas September's songs take on angular, unexpected shapes; fusing gritty vintage guitar tones with nutty
digital distortion and lo-fi loops. Robby Aceto's elegant guitar work - abetted by Torn's highly inventive rule-breaking production style provide a perfect setting for the centerpiece of this recording; namely September's incredible voice.
On tracks like "Old Stray Dog", he sings as though he were channelling someone's crazed grandpappy. At the same time, he is capable of emoting the most subtle unashamed honesty as he does in his version of the classic traditional Scots ballad, "Wild Mountain Thyme". From the disturbing hobo noir of "Why Don't It Move?" to his desperately
beautiful rendering of "Girl From the North Country", September's spare and unadorned vocals draw the listener into a world of deep emotional complexity.
Recorded for the most part live at Torn's CeLL Labs Studio, small snippets of September's bizarre home-brewed musical pastiche are interspersed throughout the cd, creating a compelling window on the good man in a hard place psyche
of a post-industrial vagabond.
OIL TAN BOW adventures deep into the internal territories which have also been explored by admitted heroes Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, and poet Arthur Rimbaud.
Much like the atmosphere of the fictions that frame the music, OIL TAN BOW is a work which demands repeated immersions into its complete and finely crafted dark universe.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Ol' Stray Dog
2. Why Don't It Move
3. Oil Tan Bow
4. Message In The Wine
5. Makin' Biscuits
6. Girl From The North Country
7. Rat Rage
8. The Professor
10. Yes Sir, That's My Baby
11. Goin' Home
12. I Ain't Got No Home
13. If I Go Down Take Your Bullet Back
14. Wild Mountain Thyme
15. Two Dollar Mudder (on a dry track)
16. When I Die (All My Troubles Can Stay)