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Just prior to this album, Brightblack were known as Rainywood, and under that name they released a split single with Bonny Prince Billy (aka Will Oldham) and an excellent -- though critically ignored -- self-released full-length CD. Soon after this release on Galaxia, they changed (or extended) their name to Brightblack Morning Light and signed to Matador Records. Named for the locations they called home and where they recorded the album (Alabama, California, and Kentucky [they recorded at Paul Oldham's studio in Louisville]) Ala.Cali.Tucky is, perhaps understandably, the sound of a band in flux and still finding its voice. The music is almost uniformly slow-paced -- frustratingly so at times. You find yourself wishing they would break out of their languor from time to time and really cut loose. But instead, acoustic and slide guitars lazily interweave in a drunken sway with sparse drums. And while Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes (the two principle members of Brightblack) harmonize beautifully, the lyrics seem half formed and tossed off. But, occasionally, as on "True Bright Blossom" and "Own Time," this unhurried, ambling style rises above its merely laid-back hippy-vibe aspirations to create a kind of hazy, dreamy majesty that brings to mind the best work of that ultimate slow-poke band, Low. In fact, Brightblack could maybe be best described as Low with a Southern accent, as if Low were from Alabama instead of Minnesota, and instead of Mormons they were members of the Rainbow Tribe and Greenpeace. Remember, both oppressive heat and bitter cold can make you want to move at a snail's pace.
Performance CreditsBrightblack Primary Artist
Paul Oldham Bass,Bass Guitar
Glenn Thompson Pedal Steel Guitar,Group Member
Neal Morgan Drums,Vocals
R. Hughes Piano,Vocals,fender rhodes,Group Member
Nathan Shinywater Vocals
Neal Douglas Morgan Drums,Vocals
Technical CreditsPaul Oldham Producer,Engineer