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Heron King Blues
     

Heron King Blues

by Califone
 
On Heron King Blues, Califone continues to sharpen the attack they mounted on Quicksand/Cradlesnakes: a very natural-sounding blend of folk and blues, experimental rock, and electronic textures. "Wingbone" starts things out as an all-acoustic affair, with an understated (and somewhat cryptic) melodic vocal and pretty,

Overview

On Heron King Blues, Califone continues to sharpen the attack they mounted on Quicksand/Cradlesnakes: a very natural-sounding blend of folk and blues, experimental rock, and electronic textures. "Wingbone" starts things out as an all-acoustic affair, with an understated (and somewhat cryptic) melodic vocal and pretty, complementary acoustic guitars. "Trick Bird" is next, and despite the appearance of loops and feedback, slides and scraping, the tune remains organic and folky even as it approaches the avant-garde. Therein lies the magic of Califone: their ability to create what are essentially laid-back, pretty acoustic songs, and still have the songs emerge after generous amounts of noise and texture have been added. "Sawtooth Sung a Cheater's Song" features some great junk-pile percussion at the end, while "Apple" floats on top of a murky synthesized rhythm. "Lion & Bee" is a return to the unadorned acoustic sound of "Wingbone," while "2 Sisters Drunk on Each Other" is a bit of a departure, finding Califone actually getting somewhere close to funky. The album's centerpiece has to be the title cut though: a nearly 15-minute-long delicious slab of detuned avant skronk blues that strongly echoes Captain Beefheart's Mirror Man album. Califone takes familiar elements and often combines them in unfamiliar ways without sounding unfamiliar or ever losing sight of the song. That's a difficult balancing act, and one that they pull off completely on Heron King Blues.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
Their shambling songs... stick with you like a spectral fever dream. (B+)

Product Details

Release Date:
01/20/2004
Label:
Thrill Jockey
UPC:
0790377013528
catalogNumber:
70135

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Califone   Primary Artist
Tim Rutili   Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Steel Drums,Casio,Slide Bass,Group Member
Ben Massarella   Percussion,Drums,Hand Drums,Group Member
Michael Krassner   Guitar,electronics
Wil Hendricks   Organ,Bass,Piano,Casio
Jim Becker   Organ,Banjo,Guitar,Piano,Violin,Loops,Fretless Banjo,Treated Piano,Plucked Violin,Group Member
Joe Adamik   Organ,Percussion,Drums,Horn,Thumb Piano,Loops,Pump Organ,Tremolo,Treated Piano,Shanai

Technical Credits

Tim Rutili   Composer
Ben Massarella   Composer,drum machine
Sheila Sachs   Pre-Press Layout
Califone   Producer
Phil Spirito   Composer,Contributor
Michael Krassner   Producer,Engineer
Chris Strong   Cover Photo,Tray Photo
Graeme Gibson   Engineer
J. Green   Composer
Elisa Green   Sculpture,Costume Design

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