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McAuley, Jim / Scot Ray: Second Earth (Long Song Records)

An excellent first meeting of two guitarists recording on a February afternoon and released in the sequence recorded with no edits or changes, from Jim McAuley on guitar and Scot Ray on lap steel slide guitar with effects, an innately lyrical blending of styles masking the strong technical skills and long histories of these two superlative players.

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product information:

Label: Long Song Records
Catalog ID: LSRCD152/2019
Squidco Product Code: 28221

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Italy
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded on Feburary 28th, 2019, by Jim McAuley.


Jim McAuley-guitars

Scot Ray-lap steel slide guitar, effects

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Artist Biographies:

"Once described as "the only guitarist who has played with both Frank Sinatra and Nels Cline", guitarist Jim McAuley has been integral to LA's creative music scene for over 30 years. After a brief stint as a commercial session musician in the early 70's, he began focusing on his original solo material, quickly landing a contract with John Fahey's Takoma label in 1976. In the eighties he gravitated toward free improv and was honored to perform and record with such LA legends as John Carter, Horace Tapscott and James Newton. He earned his MFA at CalArts in '91 (mentored by Frederick Rzewski, David Behrman and others) and in '94 formed a collective called Gongfarmer whose revolving roster included Alex Cline, Jeff Gauthier, Marty Walker, David Johnson and other Los Angeles new music stalwarts. 2001 saw the release of "Acoustic Guitar Trio"-Nels Cline, (the late) Rod Poole and Jim McAuley-on Derek Bailey's Incus imprint. Wire Magazine hailed the album as "displaying the range, strength, boundary crossing and genre-melding fertility of contemporary improv" and "high on the list of favourite releases for this year." McAuley's first solo outing, "Gongfarmer 18" (Nine Winds Records) received a similarly warm reception from critics, landing on the "Best of 2005" lists in numerous major publications. This album demonstrated McAuley's wide range of influences, creating a style he calls "pan-idiomatic." Cadence Magazine called it "a mood-altering and mind-bending album...He makes his instrument hum with excitement while stepping away from rigidity and into an open and free world of music", while the Wire simply declared it "great stuff." His most recent album ("The Ultimate Frog", 2008) is a 2-CD set of duets with the late Leroy Jenkins, Nels Cline, Alex Cline and Ken Filiano. The New York Times wrote: "Mr. McAuley's precise writing and playing is full of blues figures and rich-toned, acoustic-folk resonance. It's peaceful and rigorous music." A track from "The Ultimate Frog" was featured on the April 2009 Wiretapper compilation CD which accompanies Wire Magazine."

-Long Song Records (

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"Scot Ray's eclectic slide guitar work is informed by his many years as a professional trombonist - from work with Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats (which involved collaborations with Gwen Stefani, Tony Bennett, and Bob Dylan; along with a Grammy), to pop icons Jason Mraz, Dionne Warwick, Elliot Easton (of The Cars) & Ray Manzarek (of The Doors); from Cuban percussionist Francisco Aguabella to new music pioneers Steuart Liebig, Alex Cline, Vinny Golia, Bill Barrett, Nels Cline; from Caribbean cruise ships and Buddhist funeral bands to performances on David Byrne's Sessions At W. 54th Street, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, The DuMaurier Jazz Festival, and Harmonica Sur Cher France; from soundtracks 'Stuart Little', 'Me, Myself, and Irene', and 'Three To Tango', to a vote as 'rising star' from Down Beat Magazine. Ray currently homesteads in a small mountain town with intermittent excursions to wield his slide guitars in a variety of odd and captivatingly obscure projects including Gutpuppet, Drift & Throttle, Roughnecks, Tee-tot Quartet, and Super8sonic film improvisations."

-All About Jazzz (

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track listing:

1. Second Earth 6:22

2. The Day Was Green 3:43

3. Household Deer 3:23

4. Future Memories 5:35

5. Outer Banks 2:59

6. Coruscations 3:43

7. Time's Arrow 5:12

8. Henry Charles Marx 6:53

9. Lodestar 6:31

10. Intermodal 6:46

11. Here's Looking at Euclid 1:20
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Shimmering lyrical pan-idiomatic interlocutions. This Long Song records release documents an extraordinary February afternoon when two improvising guitarists met for the first time to record some music. Nothing was planned or discussed in advance. The resulting tracks are presented here in the order they were recorded, no edits, nothing added or deleted. If this project were mapped into a Venn Diagram one might see/hear the overlapping parts hint and slide from Basho to Bailey, Cooder to Kottke, Fahey to Frisell, past with future, variety with unity. McAuley and Ray, sonic soul searchers who by coming together to converse and experiment, have created something quite singular in scope and vision. Please join them on this listening journey to SECOND EARTH.

"Spontaneous jams aren't usually as inviting as they are challenging but these guys communed with the Muse from moment one." - Michael Davis aka Kid Methuseluh, KXLU Los Angeles

Jim McAuley began his music life as a classical guitarist, but was soon seduced by the sound of finger-picked blues, folk and jazz. His original work combines these influences into a highly personal improvisational style. His wide ranging career has included working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Marcel Marceau, Steve Lacy to Leroy Jenkins, the groundbreaking guitar trio with Nels Cline and Rod Poole to seminal solo work under the Gongfarmer moniker. The Los Angeles Times has called Jim's work "Genuinely evocative and refreshingly cliche-bashing." The New York Times writes "Mr. McAuley's precise writing and playing is full of blue figures and rich-tone, acoustic-folk resonance. It's peaceful and rigorous music."

Slide guitarist Scot Ray (previously a trombonist with Brian Setzer, Jason mark, Nels Cline, Francisco Aguabella, Vinny Golia) now focuses exclusively on a modified lap steel in a tuning of his own design. Currently residing in a small mountain hamlet he can be found playing in Los Angeles and Denver on a semi-frequent basis with many new music stalwarts including Steuart Liebig, Bill Barrett, Danny Frankel, Vicki Ray, Alex Cline. "Scot Ray is a sensible master of the objective sliding truth and I wouldn't hesitate to compare him to players on the same level of Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth. He's a diversified velvet-touch fingerstylist whose evolved phrasing fuses past and future seamlessly, a true joy to hear - and not only for guitarists."-Touching Extremes, Italy

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Guitarists, &c.
Duo Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz

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