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Chenaux, Eric – “Dull Lights ” – [Constellation]

Strong singer-songwriter fare from Eric Chenaux out of Quebec
and on the always fascinating Constellation label. He sort of
whittles at his guitar, while offering home-spun vocals that
drift almost listlessly, while tracking down their purpose.
His guitar work, harmonic ting and chipping pings recollects
outstanding work from Greg Malcolm. Nick Fraser helps out
with the drums, he sort of milks them…slow and steady,
snares being tugged gently. Martin Arnold blends nicely in
with Chenaux’s guitar work…hard for me to pull them apart.
Although on the track that is *killer* “Worm and Gear” I
suspect it is Arnold on the electric tenor banjo. Props
to that instrument, and the piece is a very memorable sort
of southern march with Robert Fripp playing the role of
Johnny Reb?!? The piece has a stagger melody, and Chenaux
chases it with his soothing vox…but towards the end the
electric cavalry arrives with great sustained guitar turning
the melody into a canon of sorts. Or maybe it is a cannon?
I’m not supposed to like one track so much, but the hell
with that…it’s a song of the year candidate! The rest of
the album is content for a more laid-back ballad approach,
which will set just fine on yer porch boombox with two
shots of bourbon. “White Dwarf White Sea” also offers a
stop-stop-again-go-stop guitar and voice pairing. Sleepier
though… “Ronnie Mary” is the No Depression fuzz ball,
still rolling slow. (And shouldn’t that be Ronnie Marie?)
Enjoy the gentrifried and big whittle easy.

-Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 5, 2006 at 12:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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