Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Steve Palmer - Fables of the Feral Boys + Unreleased (2015)

The man from Minneapolis is back with some more American Primitivism. For the second time appearance of Steve Palmer on SRM, following his Unblinking Sun LP, what we've got here is an EP combined with previously unreleased material being issued on a cassette for our pleasure by Fall Break Records. The same enterprise that brought us Full Crumb.

Steve Palmer is the sort of musician I feel anyone with a coherently thinking mind should relish, however a background on how this isn't folk music as you might assume is always helpful. I've gone over the love for the music of that John Fahey many times on this blog and on the podcast, and in my write up of Unblinking Sun pointed out the degree of his influence on Palmer's style. I could go on at length regarding this topic, but I'll restrict myself to saying Palmer shares Fahey's vision of combing America's traditional music of folk, blues, country and layering on healthy and enchanting experimentation that can only be accomplished so elegantly through absolutely amazing skill and insight. Fans of psychedelic and drone should recognize the kinship of these genres with what the mesmerizing and experimenting guitar playing achieves here. Those into the blues and folk with hear the fast-picking method that only the greatest musicians execute properly. Hence the name American Primitivism, taking our musical legacy back to a primordial sound such to muck around with it anew. Steve Palmer has shown himself to be an excellent purveyor of this idea. I'd say there isn't a note, or echoing drone for that matter, that he plays in these songs I'm not enthralled to hear.

To be had here:

P.S. I feel I'd be remiss without mentioning that Palmer isn't alone in his Fahey-esque sound. Do check out another contemporary American Primitive player hailing from France, Magnus Dewi, who got written up back in July.

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