After his recent work interpreting the American Songbook, guitarist Bill Orcutt returns to his own compositions in an album cleanly recorded through a Fender Twin in Orcutt's living room, with three pieces multi-tracked, the rest simply pure Orcutt, reflecting beautiful blues-tinged lyricism, jarring interwining of notes, and impressive passages of superb virtuosity.
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Catalog ID: PAL 056CD
Squidco Product Code: 28000
Recorded at The Living Room, in San Francisco, California, in Spring 2019.
Mastered by James Plotkin.
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• Show Bio for Bill Orcutt
"Bill Orcutt (born February 2, 1962) is an American guitarist and composer whose work combines elements of blues, punk, and free improvisation. Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters in The Last Waltz, Orcutt began playing the guitar as a teenager in Miami. In 1992, he formed the band Harry Pussy with his wife, Cuban/American drummer and vocalist Adris Hoyos. The group recorded three LPs and toured the US frequently, often in support of indie bands like Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. Their music, which drew from American no wave, hardcore punk and free jazz was influential and "served as a progenitor for the Noise movement." In 1997 the band dissolved and the couple divorced. Orcutt moved to San Francisco and took a long hiatus from music, returning in 2009, with an LP of solo guitar entitled A New Way To Pay Old Debts which was well received, ranking 3rd of 2009 in the The Wire magazine's annual "Rewind" list. His follow-up release How The Thing Sings was similarly praised, reaching number 3 on NPR's The Best Outer Sound Albums Of 2011. Since 2009, Orcutt has toured often appearing at festivals in the US and Europe, including Hopscotch, Incubate, Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Donau and Big Ears. Typically a solo performer, Orcutt has also recorded or performed with Loren Mazzacane Connors, Chris Corsano, Peter Brotzmann and Alan & Richard Bishop."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Orcutt)
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1. Odds Against Tomorrow 3:53
2. The Sun and Its Horizon 3:37
3. A Writhing Jar 2:34
4. The Conversion Experience 4:21
5. Already Old 2:39
6. Stray Dog 1:39
7. All Your Buried Corpses Begin To Speak 4:54
8. Moon River 1:31
9. Judith Reconsidered 3:08
10. Man Dies 2:09
sample the album:
"After two LPs and over half a decade spent toiling in the margins of the American Songbook, Bill Orcutt returns to original composition and the blues with his latest LP, Odds Against Tomorrow. Taking its title from Robert Wise's 1959 film noir, Odds Against Tomorrow retrofits familiar folk/blues forms to the unique sound of Orcutt's guitar and the result crackles with a freshness and authority that nostalgic retreads cannot deliver.
Odds Against Tomorrow is more than an expansion of the territory charted by Bill Orcutt, his eponymous 2017 studio electric debut, although it's certainly that. With its nods to existing musics, half-step fluctuations, and near-songwriterly manipulations of tension/release, Odds Against Tomorrow is a rock record -- almost. Clearly and simply recorded through a clattering Fender Twin in Orcutt's living room and lovingly mixed by Bay Area neighbor and pedal-steel savant Chuck Johnson, no one would mistake it for any era's radio fodder, yet the precision of its technique and the swaying Child-ballad logic of its gentler improvisations comfortably seats it between John Mayall and Richard Thompson in your Ikea Kallax.
Three songs ("Odds Against Tomorrow," "The Writhing Jar," "Already Old") are multi-tracked, an innovation that, for guitar buffs familiar with Orcutt's stripped-down vernacular, jumps out of the grooves like a Les Paul sound-on-sound excursion in 1948, or a Jandek blues rave-up in 1987. Specifically evoking John Lee Hooker's double-track experiments on 1952's "Walking the Boogie," the steady chord vamps of "Odds Against Tomorrow" and "Already Old" form a harmonic turf on which Orcutt solos with lyrical abandon -- and while his playing has always earned begrudging respect from any hardened shredders willing to pluck the foam out of their ear canals, even the most strident neck- strangler will steam over his lubricated runs. For the more "contemporary-minded," "The Writhing Jar"'s crashing overdubs recall the brassy six-string voicings of This Heat or Illitch.
With the exception of the unreconstructed Elmore James-isms of "Stray Dog" and the "Layla"-finale-like haze of "All Your Buried Corpses Begin To Speak," the remaining non-overdubbed tracks dovetail snugly with Orcutt's previous solo output, reeling gently in a Mazzacane-oid mode ("The Sun and its Horizon," "The Conversion Experience," "Judith Reconsidered," "Man Dies") or vibing up the standards ("Moon River"). On their own, these tracks would still be an important contribution to Orcutt's canon. As part of Odds Against Tomorrow's greater whole, they provide a through line, connecting the idiosyncrasies of Orcutt's past explorations with the scrambled tropes of his present work.
Odds Against Tomorrow challenges contemporary solo guitar practice in a way that simultaneously nullifies hazy dreams of folk purity and establishes a new high-water mark for blues-rock reconstruction. Put simply, in our current era of mannered revisionism, it is a joy to listen to."-Tom CarterAlso available on vinyl LP.
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