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Chadbourne, Eugene
New Directions in Appalachian Music

Chadbourne, Eugene: New Directions in Appalachian Music (Chadula)
Label: Chadula    
Released in: USA    

New Directions in Appalachian Music is an "old-time" folk performing project that Chadbourne's been working with over several years. Frequent collaborator percussionist Paul Lovens and improv vocal phenomenon Phil Minton join Doc Chad on banjo, Mike Cooper on lap steel & dobra and Cedric Prive on violin. It's an impressive set of musicians to front any style of band, and they give it their all. Appalachian music itself developed in America from traditional Scottish, English and Irish music, so it's fitting that Minton add his voice, particularly given his involvement in projects like Lindsay Cooper's Rags. Chad and company pay utter respect to Appalachian song forms while tearing them apart and putting them back together inside out and sideways. There are odd and impressive improvisational moments - not surprising given the players involved - but really it's about the songs and their exuberant instrumental interludes. Minton and Chad share the vocal duties, Chadbourne handling the more narrative material. Together they work in call/response, with Minton sometimes responding in a flat basso, or yodeling out Appalachian refrains in his very distinctive voice. It's all a bit twisted, but musically a joy: an excellent set of songs with great instrumental and otherwise opportunities.

"For the past 40 years Mike Cooper has been an international musical explorer, performing and recording, solo and in a number of inspired groupings and a variety of genres. Initially a folk-blues guitarist and singer songwriter his work has diversified to include improvised and electronic music, live music for silent films, radio art and sound installations. He is also a music journalist, writing features for magazines, particularly on Pacific music and musicians, a visual artist, film and video maker, collector of Hawaiian shirts and appears on more than 60 records to date."

-Mike Cooper Website (

"Born in Aachen, Germany, 6 June 1949; Drums, percussion, musical saw, etc.

Paul Lovens played the drums as a child. Self-taught, from the age of 14 he played in groups of various jazz styles and popular musics and from 1969 has worked almost exclusively as an improvisor on individually selected instruments. He has worked internationally with most of the leading musicians in free jazz and free improvisation, among whom have included the Globe Unity Orchestra, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Schlippenbach trio, Quintet Moderne, Company, and a duo with Paul Lytton. He has undertaken concert tours in more than 40 countries, is a founder member of a musician's cooperative and has produced recordings for his own label, Po Torch Records since 1976. He has worked with painter Herbert Bardenheuer. Despite very rare solo performances, and although giving occasional concerts with ad-hoc groups and an involvement in projects with film, dance and actors, Paul Lovens' main interest and work is musical improvisation in fixed small groups. In the mid-1990s these small groups numbered around 16, of which a few were part of a special selection, called 'vermögen'.

Paul Lovens somehow epitomises the free drummer/percussionist who is not there to lay down the beat and kick everyone else into action but to listen, colour, contribute, guide, and occasionally direct, the overall cooperative sound. In concert one cannot fail to be moved by his intensity and concentration and there is an overiding feeling that even the most random events are somehow planned in time. In this respect, there is a nice irony that on the Nothing to read CD with Mats Gustafsson, Lovens describes his kit as consisting of 'selected and unselected drums and cymbals'. Miking seems to be a problem at times with some recordings giving him undue prominence and others insufficient. Good recordings are Elf bagatellen, Nothing to read, Pakistani pomade, and ,stranger than love."

-European Free Improv (

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Related Categories of Interest:

Chadbourne. Eugene
Improvised Music
Song Based Music
Unusual Vocal Forms
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
March 2007
Free Improvisation
Sextet Recordings

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Product Information:

Label: Chadula
Catalog ID: 2007AP
Squidco Product Code: 7718

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: USA
Packaging: CDR in a cardboard sleeve with Dr. Chad's unique packaging
Recorded at Chadfest 2006 in Vandouvres-Les-Nancy.


Dr. Eugene Chadbourne-banjo, vocals

Mike Cooper-lap steel, dobro, vocals, electronics

Johnny Hamill-bass electronics

Paul Lovens-drums

Phil Minton-drums

Cedric Prive-violin

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Track Listing:

1. 2. 3. Introductory Comments

4. Hurry Home Darlin'

5. Hello Stranger

6. You're the Reason

7. North Carolina

8. Rhooba Train

9. Rainbow Connection

10. Applause Fades

11. Orange Claw Hammer

12. Hickory Wind