Title - 'Pearly Clouds'
Artist - Pearly Clouds
The self-titled debut, Pearly Clouds may well be the first recording by the new trio, but it is one that makes you stand up and pay attention to once heard, trust me. The band themselves describe it as avant-folk and ethno jazz/blues sound which alloys the spiritual and musical experience of the American-Hungarian-and Southern heritage and future. Hmmm, well, me personally, I call it ethereal, thought provoking, and decidedly earthy, that's for sure.
Guitarist Gary Lucas is one of the most lauded performers among critics, variously described as The Thinking Man's Guitar Hero by The New Yorker, and here on their debut, he keeps the Pearly Clouds musical train securely on track. Opening track 'My Sweet Mother`s Rosewood' - sung by Eniko Szabo - and is a haunting cut, if ever there was, and is backed by the Eastern flavors of 'High up Is the Churchyard in Dézs.'
The inspiring, lyrically beautiful trio of 'Two Roads,' 'I Dislike How Times Are Changing,' and the harder, almost jagged guitar work of 'Those Beautiful Saxon Girls' are next, and are followed by both the playful 'My Snow White' and the fluid 'My Little Brown-Haired Girl.' The ethereal pairing of both 'I Wish I Could Go' and 'Over the Water' are a delight to behold, and are backed by 'Q and A' and the expert finger-plunking storytelling of 'Wayfarer.'
Gary Lewis was also a member of the last incarnation of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band in the early '80s and has become a respected figure in avant-garde, psychedelic and world music, composing widely for film and TV. He formed this trio with Hungarian singer Eniko Szabo, whose style combines traditional folk music with jazz, and saxophonist Toni Dezso, a leading figure on the European avant garde jazz scene, recording an album which takes its inspiration from folk melodies and lyrics, projecting them into adventurous and captivating settings.
Continuing onward and next we get the poignant 'Dream Has Fallen,' which is followed by 'The Mill Has No Grindstone,' and then, bringing the inspired album to a close, the stoic, avant-folk melodies attached to 'Sorrowful Is This World.' Last August they premiered much of this material at Budapest’s famously sweltering and dusty Sziget festival, at one o’clock in the morning. One cannot imagine a fitter place or time in which to experience this big music than during a witching hour in the heat of a Central European high summer on a dusty island in the middle of a Danube in disguise. You, however, don't have to go to that listening experience extreme yourselves, just go to Amazon, buy the CD and fall deeply within it at your own air conditioned home, on your very own comfy sofa.