Heron King Blues

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
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.
Entertainment Weekly - Michael Endelman
Their shambling songs... stick with you like a spectral fever dream. (B+)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/20/2004
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • UPC: 790377013528
  • Catalog Number: 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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