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Knitting by Twilight - An Evening Out of Town

An Evening Out of Town

Knitting by Twilight

Available from Amazon.com

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

This is the latest in a long, productive, and very satisfying menu of progfusion from John Orsi's oldest ensemble, a group with an Impressionistically slanted bent for oft gentle, sometimes eruptive, intelligent songs slowly massaging some of the subtler aspects of the genre into new configurations. This time out, save for one highly moody quartet cut, "Oblivion's Poppied Slope" with three—count 'em, three—guitars, it's all solos or duets between John and a trio of others (highly talented wife Karen, stalwart Manny Silva, and the ever-welcome Mike Marando). Everything's based in percussives accentuating frequently tribalistic beats sometimes underlying clever time/rhythmic shifts (Jaunt to Dreamland), other times frenetically offsetting slow melodics (Soothing Stars), but always accenting in ways that draw attention to the floating nature of Orsi's compositions.

Perhaps the most surprising ingredient this time out is the employment of a guitar by John himself, heard in coolly wah'ed lines in Soothing Stars. Normally, the guy favors keyboards alongside his skins, bringing in burningly competent axemen (and women) for string duties, but this time he hefted the instrument and went to work. Then there's Evelyn's Glen, a strongly Enoidal piece drenched in muscular authenticity...and apparently a reference to Evelyn Glennie, classical percussionist. Audrey, however, is one of the most experimental cuts KBT has ever done, a killer piece of reversed envelopes and oil can ostinato with warp outs and vaporous keys.

Though the tracks can vary significantly, there's always a consonance of integrity, instrumental coloratura, and silky invention. Suited for contemplation, active listening, backdrop ambience, and candlelight wistfulness, KBT is always a remedy for whatever might be provoking vexations with the world. Just slip this disc into the player and sit back as your frontal lobes are caressed and cajoled. In closing, though, I suggest the listener check out the entire It's Twilight Time catalog as this is a consistently quality label, home to a number of refined ongoing entities, including one of my fave dreampop combos (manned by the Orsis and Bouchards): Overflower.

Track List:

  • Jaunt to Dreamland (Orsi / Silva)
  • Water Pumps from Cloudland (Orsi / Orsi)
  • Soothing Stars (John Orsi)
  • Evelyn's Glen (John Orsi)
  • Oblivion's Poppied Slope (Orsi / Marando / Silva / Orsi)
  • Pictures of Delight (John Orsi)
  • Audrey (Orsi / Marando)
  • Bell Weather (Orsi / Orsi)
  • Venus for Everyone (John Orsi)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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