by Larkin Grimm


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Parplar might be in some ways a folk record, or at least a folky singer/songwriter one. But if so, it's at the freakiest margins of those genres -- not in a distasteful outsider way, but in a pretty impressive and certainly very eclectic one. A major aspect of that eclecticism is the sheer number of instruments employed, including not just Larkin Grimm's own acoustic guitar, dulcimer banjo, Casio, and Chinese harp, but also accordion, dobro, viola, trumpet, violin, trombone, electric guitar, and more by numerous supporting musicians. But the most important element of the music -- and one that's just as varied in timbre as the instrumentation -- is Grimm's voice, which can go from angelic high crooning to mischievous, low, whispery phrasing, as well as more rustic basic folky singing and nerve-jangling, almost munchkin-ish high-pitched vibrations. It can get almost as accessible as some of Joni Mitchell or Phoebe Snow's work, or as weird as some of the odder early 21st century acid folk. Never settling into predictable moods, there's something for a wide range of adventurous folk and rock fans here, whether the near alt-country folk of some tunes; the "Ghost Riders in the Sky"-like "Ride That Cyclone"; the haunting classical chamber music-tinged aura of some tracks; the reserved and remote starkness of "They Were Wrong," which might be most in line with what many underground female folk vocalists were offering around this era; or the sheer eccentric whimsy of "How to Catch a Lizard," whose weirdness is in the Holy Modal Rounders' league. If there's any criticism, it's that the sheer variety, a strength in many ways, can also be a weakness in that it sometimes seems as though Grimm is an actor playing numerous parts, making one wonder, at times, whether the versatility is coming at expense of personal expression.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2008
Label: Young God Records
UPC: 0658457003725
catalogNumber: 37
Rank: 262149

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Larkin Grimm   Primary Artist,Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Autoharp,Vocals,Classical Guitar,Casio,Egyptian Tambourine,Gu-Zheng,Frame Drum
Michael Gira   Vocals
Philip Puleo   Hammered Dulcimer
Kenny Siegal   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Arrington de Dionyso   Throat Singing
Eszter Balint   Fiddle
Caleb Mulkerin   Banjo,Guitar,Drums,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Chriss Sutherland   Tambourine,Vocals,Upright Bass,Doumbek,Guest Appearance
Jason LaFarge   Electric Guitar
Micah Blue Smaldone   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Upright Bass,Guest Appearance
Colleen Kinsella   Accordion,Drums,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jordan Voelker   Viola
Steve Moses   Trombone

Technical Credits

Michael Gira   Producer
Kenny Siegal   Producer,Engineer
Jim Gavenus   Tray Photo
Jason LaFarge   Engineer
Larkin Grimm   Composer,Producer

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