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Artist: JOYNER, SIMON & DENNIS CALLACI
Title: Stranger Blues
Format: One Sided LP
Label: Catsup Plate
Country: USA
Price: $10.00
"Dennis Callaci and Simon Joyner are two of the foremost channelers of "the song." Simon is known for his solo recordings, with releases on Jagjaguwar, Truckstop, Shrimper, and Sing Eunuchs!, among others. Dennis plays in Refrigerator and was the sole voice behind the criminally underheard Paste. They are singer-songwriters in that they write songs and sing them, but that appellation dumbs down and sanitizes what they do. I think it is more accurate to say that both have a way of tapping into the stream of collective creativity that flows from God-knows-when through to the present and beyond. Their songs have a gravity to them, an old soul, as it were, that cannot be mistaken. There are a few stylistic precursors to their work -- precursors that have been well-documented previously -- but the songs they write and sing tap into something more ineffable, timeless, and grave. The Stranger Blues set comprises three of Simons songs and two by Dennis, all recorded live in the Callaci living room to what seems to be a single microphone. The nontraditional (or better: non-studio) setting adds a palpable sensation of space to the recordings -- by space I do not simply mean the warmth of the room tone, but actual space: backing vocals and spare piano or guitar lines arise in such a way that you are aware of the physical geography of the room. You can hear Simon singing along with Dennis from an actual distance away; his voice is (literally) distant and all the more forlorn. The guitar lines that Dennis adds to flesh-out Simons songs have the same eerie effect. This sense of space underscores two seemingly contradictory strengths about Stranger Blues. On one hand, these songs are beautifully lonely and spare, highlighted by the echoes and distance in the room. At the same time, it is clear that two songwriters who know and love the others work, who are very much working in tandem to build upon each others strengths. Single edition of 500 one-sided LPs. Silkscreened and hand assembled chipboard jackets in a "traditional" Catsup Plate brown butchers tape design scheme." - Catsup Plate.

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