(Woetone)

Bill Barrett and Scot Ray are back, and this time the path is made comfortable for everyone who wants to get acquainted with Gutpuppet’s world. The instruments are their usual ones (Barrett on chromatic harmonica, Ray on 6, 12 and 22-string slide guitar and slide banjo), what’s required on your behalf instead is an open disposition and the will of relaxing at least every once in a while amidst all those doubtful silences, zen scrapes and post-everything cages (pun intended). The fourth chapter of this duo’s saga is largely reminiscing of their atavistic influences, the variety of genres that they touch indeed baffling, all the more effective when they mix them over the course of a single piece. Flamenco and blues, Arabian and fingerpicking. Melancholic serenades and intense rasgueado, serene under-the-porch blowing and distorted tongue-tying chromatisms. Odd-metred bluegrass a go-go. Everything very visible, totally deployed in the warm sun of a music that puts listeners at ease but can’t really be defined “easy”. One perceives the smile on the musicians’ faces while giving birth to these ragas for the few untroubled fragments of a difficult life; in the right moments and doses, Gutpuppet’s thoroughly acoustic expression is the sign of a joy that still exists somewhere. Virtuosity at the service of heartiness by two of the nicest fellows.

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