Welcome to the quirky waters of post-Dylan, psych-influenced folk. That's psych as in psychedelic, not psycho, but then you may have trouble separating the two at times. While Kelly Marie Martin and David Jones are definitely out there, they dole out the bizarre in only small to medium doses, the remainder given to the maybe slightly odd but melodic tunes of their own making. Maybe not borne of perfect voices, they more than make up for it by matching voice to song and present some of the more refreshing music of its kind. And, unlike the standard one-off songs handed us my most, Kelly and David give us well structured and intricate slices of life. Well, life as they see it. On the inside. Sort of.
Reeking of stale cigarette smoke of late-60s Greenwich Village, they dive in right off the bat, light dual guitars and alternately sung verses of the slightly demented Light Don't Bend Around Corners giving way to the lazy sleaze of The Ballad of John Ashley, Martin's oddly plucked banjo offsetting Jones' smooth and full acoustic rhythm guitar. The jump from the devil (Ashley) to Damon Winder is sideways, Winder adrip in peculiarities of his own. Psych laces the edge as Martin talks Winder's story over Jones' wailing voice—and seriously, not many people have Deer Walks named after them.
Things tone down on Mouse, a melodic juxtaposition of wonder at the discovery and then loss of a furry visitor of no, and then some, consequence. The addition of organ at the end is somewhat (for Kelly and David) funereal—and perfect. A slow moving river of a song, Fall Awake by Yourself uses violin and cello as the visual center around which Kelly and David weave their guitar and voices—one of many highlights. More melodic folk with Slow Fold, floating vocal harmonies mixing with early San Francisco electric guitar leads.
Zamudio Rodriguez may be folk hero to but a few, but the numbers will grow after hearing Salud Zamudio, a folk tale of an immigrant worker of John Henry status, accordion and guitar giving it that solid aura a la Cesar Chavez, et. al.
Critics seem to love Woods and Wolves and when you hear it you will know why. Upbeat and supported by (Kelly) Martin-esque plucked banjo, it spans all ages in feel. Wolf versus coyote makes for great folklore. Back to Greenwich Village for Little Mysteries, flute thrown in for good measure (and measured perfectly). A seven-minute-plus opus, it flows from one movement to another with ease, Martin and Jones sharing voices over the ever so slight psychedelia of guitar and flute. Destiny (To the Sun) tosses folk aside and utilizes full organ and electric guitar in much the same way Neko Case does on her less adventurous songs. A good song showcasing Martin's marginally echoed voice (a good combination).
It ends with a short and sweet duet, I Don't Want to Rain Or Bring It On You, piano giving it that reprise aspect (even though it is not). An unobtrusive end maybe not good enough to flesh out but good enough to say goodbye.
For those who treasure the psych edge of folk as laid down in the coffee houses and clubs of the mid- to late-60s (and even early-'70s) and who value music which gets better with each listen, Kelly and David's As the Twilight Auguries will be a head rush. Maybe not for everyone, it has an imaginative feel way beyond most of its genre. Way beyond.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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