As I mentioned last time around (here), you don't get to tour with one of the most respected guitarists on Earth (Allan Holdsworth) unless you're pretty damned good, and Jeff Aug has toured not only with that estimable but also Albert Lee, Ice-T & Bodycount, Soft Machine (to whom all praises be sung for their long, illustrious, and varied history), and others. He's also awaiting his Guinness confirmation for Most Concerts Performed in Different Countries in 24 Hours, racking up, now get this, 9 gigs in 9 countries in just 1 day. Whew! Don't even ask me how the logistics on that one worked out.
Though Living Room Sessions and subsequent tour dates proved Aug a gent not to be messed with when it comes to speed and precision, Wedding Song at first departs those fields in favor of delicacy, lyricality, and meditative introspection…although cuts like Listen Up, Jazzhole! then ratchet up the tempo and chord changes significantly. Likewise, Still in the Hedge combines Kottke with Toulouse Engelhardt, and, of course, Michael Hedges as complexities evolve. Then Jeff really goes to town in Industry Mule before getting funky in My Hotcake Cookin' Mama. Thus, don't get too stapled into any expectation niche.
Every song here was cut in a single take with no punch-ins, overdubs, or studio massaging of any kind, carefully and atmospherically captured by Murat Parlak. My favorite cut? Man, there's so much to like…but I'm really attracted to Ten Steps to the River's Edge. Can't even tell you why. Like Mike Hedges, Aug possesses an innate sense of the mysterious in the everyday. The song is an atypically long 7:08 pensee—all but two of the CD's tracks are under 3 minutes—and it stretches out to claim a lot of ambient territory, pulls you off into a floating byway, introducing a much subtler aspect of the composer than has otherwise yet been heard. In fact, I suspect that were Aug to next devote himself to lengthy tunes, we'd find there's a hell of a lot more lurking beneath the surface of his ready smile, nimble fingers, and already daunting compositional techniques.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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