Truck Mills is a very well honed fingerstyle guitarist, and his array of original compositions cover a lot of ground. However, the guy also plays baglama, cura saz, pedal steel, lap steel, churango, and he even imports a wah wah pedal ("Dorothy with the 800 Legs") for a perky grin or two. Though The Day after Yesterday is a showcase for his fretboard styling, he imports marimba and percussion on about half the tracks, courtesy Brian Hibbard and Marc Clarke respectively.
You'll find a number of echoes in here: John Fahey, Billy Joe Walker Jr., Sonny Landreth, etc., and I hear a decent dose of Kaleidoscope (Chris Darrow's old home) from time to time, but nothing that ever dominates over Mills' own steel-stringed voice. The recording is so crisp and clear that you can feel the slide's tremolo on strings reverberating in your own hands while listening (The Day after Yesterday). Da funk is also brung, in the aforementioned Dorothy, but so is poetic sonic narrative in ballads like The Tail of Lucy Lu with its high-register whispery fragility gently swaying to an afternoon breeze. Call of the Water brings in an oahu lap steel, and you ain't never heered the axe played this a-way, Jeeter, practically a theremin. That's switched for a 6-string pedal steel atop entrancing drum lines by Clarke in Camallero, alongside a charango cavorting in a threepenny vamp.
There's a lot of atmosphere in Yesterday, mostly balmy and airy, shimmering with lazy good-naturedness, but cuts like Camallero get a great deal more twisty and complicated than at first seems, boasting a long intelligent lead line artfully lacing itself time and again with plenty of room (7:21) to develop and deepen. In that song, traces of Egberto Gismonti, not to mention Sergio Leone (especially in the refrains), can be found. In all, however, the distinct tang and sunbake of Americana is quite evident, over and above the multitudinous influences our native sound evolved through, including the Spanish musk of Mustaloosa by way of Ralph McTell's London.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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