Wednesday, February 4, 2009

226: Don Cavalli - Cryland...



And Wah't a Wah-nderful Wah-rld it is...

Frequent flyers KNOW how much my ears
bleed for wah'd out (guitar) sounds,
(though it's beautiful on Rhodes & Sax too)
so today I -once again!- make a little
exception on my blog-policy and want to
present the chance to hear an entire album!
I'll cut & paste some reviews for ya here:
Being influenced by (or ripping-off, depending on how you want to look at it) the soulful, gritty work of American blues artistsis a tradition as old as rock and roll itself. French artist DonCavalli sounds, no doubt quite intentionally, like he showed up on the scene 45 years too late, wanting to pay tribute to his hard livin' heroes the same way that the Stones and the Yardbirds did when they started doing Muddy Waters impressions. Cryland is, for the most part, a collection of psyched-up blues riffs that underpin lyrics full of anachronistic clichés about old-time religion and various other tried-and-true topics about which people sing The Blues. Cavalli’s oddball album is full of throwbacks and sonic simulacra that, at points, wouldn't sound out of place next to a Cream album. But the more compelling parts of Cryland are when the album diverges entirely from its bluesy aspirations, and instead explores a less constrained form of outsider weirdness.-The Wah-heavy, harmonica blaring onset of "Gloom" sets the stage for a familiar 12-bar progression over which Cavalli sings, like Jack Bruce with a sore throat, lyrics about "Gloom up a risin'” which despite being well trod territory, are imbued some sort of foreboding sincerity in their off-kilter delivery. The first hint of Cavalli’s weird side are the chords that underpin "Gloom,” as they’re reduced to minimal squelches that preserve a melody while the riffs around it shred through intermittent accentuations. "River" continues Cryland’s exploration of Robert Johnsonian themes with a mushmouthed mantra ("Goin' to river to drown my sorrows / Kill my pain / Wash my sins," etc.) recited over a strangely electrified, tinny, barely-present guitar vibration.- Tracks like “Wonder Chairman” and “Cherie” find Cavalli hitting his stride, assuming a less restrained, more throaty and near-Beefheart-esque snort. More visceral and gruff, these songs emphasize both the lo-fi minimalism of the instrumentation and the strength of Cavalli’s voice. But beneath Cavalli’s obsession with American blues is something stranger. In “New Hollywood Babylon,” the album’s most compelling track, Cavalli eschews the blues entirely in favor of an upbeat, madcap, sugary-loop of lo-figuitar, his overdriven vocals retelling a playful litany of non-sequiturs. -While it’s tempting to make some grand statement about the French and blues music, there’s nothing particularly Gallic about Cryland. Cavalli appears to be a rogue frog. His odd cadence, bargain-basement production values and penchant for minimal rhythms constructed out of tinny, staccato shocks evoke Beefheart at their best – of course, at their worst, they sound like just another take on a worn cliché. But parts of Cryland transcend a warped take on the blues, and portend a warped take on everything, giving the impression that Don Cavalli is capable of creating music that’s way far out in the fringes, beyond the constraints of nostalgia for one particular genre.
-By Matthew A. Stern-
With his guttural voice, gasping harmonica and guitar that sounds like a squeezebox being run over by a freight train, Don Cavalli conjures up the spirit of the delta blues circa 1950 - quite an achievement considering the Frenchman recorded this in a Parisian flea market. It's unfortunate, then, that the veteran Seasick Steve is making bigger waves with a similar sound.Nevertheless, while Cavalli's thunder has been stolen, lightning remains in these woozy, boozy stompers that aren't unduly burdened by the familiarity of howling winds and the obligatory appearance by the Devil. Wonder Chairman brews up a Beefheart/Zeppelin storm, while New Hollywood Babylon uses a lo-fi acoustic loop as a vehicle for Cavalli's bizarre fantasy of being warmly received by a Hollywood audience, only to "kill 'em all". So much for a career in soundtracks.
-By Dave Simpson-
Offering vintage-sounding blues-rock as filtered through the wah-wah guitar of a middle aged Frenchman, Don Cavalli's "Cry Land" sounds like a recently unearthed '60s gem that was recorded over a fast, booze-soaked lost weekend. Talented without being showy, guitarist Cavalli twists standard blues-rock conventions and injects them with shots of funk, punk, garage and psychedlia. The distorted crunch of "River" and the Cream-like "Agression" are infatuated with Chicago blues, but never come across as simple imitation or parody.
The repetitive robo-rocker "New Hollywood Babylon" doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the tunes, but it is also the disc's most adventurous and memorable tune, and it highlights Cavalli's jerky, David Byrne-meets-Muddy Waters voice.
Album closes with a splendid rave-up on Gershwin's
By David Lewis
Yeah that's right, another great take on one of my all-time favs!


So without further ado, here's the tracklist for 38 minutes of
truly wah-nderful music and please if you like this,
remember to support this French Wah'd-Out dude
and buy his album!!!
Visit his MYSPACE to check if he's playing somewhere near you...
1. Don Cavalli - gloom uprising (3:38)
2. Don Cavalli - I'm going to a river (2:18)
3. Don Cavalli - aggression (3:07)
4. Don Cavalli - here sat I (off jumps the don) (3:27)
5. Don Cavalli - vitamin a (1:43)
6. Don Cavalli - vengeance (3:03)
7. Don Cavalli - wandering wanderer (3:32)
8. Don Cavalli - cryland (2:09)
9. Don Cavalli - new hollywood babylon (3:42)
10. Don Cavalli - wonder chairman (2:12)
11. Don Cavalli - cherie de mon coeur (2:34)
12. Don Cavalli - casual worker (4:19)
13. Don Cavalli - summertime (2:30)





vovanbo said...

Thank you very much! May be have you this music in lossless audio format? Thanks a lot!

E-mile said...

That would be you, buying the CD and supporting the artist you so clearly like...
peace, E-mile

Arkiver said...

Sweeet! What a great sound, thanks for the introduction. Has a bit of a cajun sound, plenty of righteous blues. I will be listening to this a few times!