Review from Dirty Impound

Ron’s Pick of the Week:
Desertshore: Drawing of Threes (Caldo Verde)

For over 15 years, guitarist Phil Carney has performed beside sad-core kingpin Mark Kozelek in both the Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. His unique strain of solemn, atmospheric playing has resonated across the landscape of modern music with his influential work on such classic releases as the Painters’ 1996 album Songs for a Blue Guitar and Sun Kil’s 2008 epic April. Now the two old friends reconvene once again with the release of the second LP by Carney’s own instrumental group Desertshore with pianist Chris Connolly. Recorded at the legendary Hyde Street Studio in their native San Francisco, where such essential recordings as The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, Santana’s Abraxas and Neil Young’s eponymous solo debut were cut, Drawing of Threes (released November 22) finds the group incorporating vocals for the very first time, with Kozelek singing on six of the ten tracks in addition to sitting in the production chair and playing bass on the entire thing. The end result is as shimmering and atmospheric as anything the combination of Kozelek and Carney have done to date, anchored by Connolly’s hushed, classically trained playing which brings a strong sense of resonant modality to the unique slow pop formula presented here. Whether or not Kozelek continues as an active member of Desertshore remains to be seen. However, if the band wants to make more records as affecting as Drawing of Threes they might not want to lose his number any time soon. (Ron Hart)

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