Album Review

Melchior, Dan – “Plays The Greys” – [Ever/never]

Naysayer   5/1/2016   12-inch, A Library

Serious. This is serious. Dan Melchior’s release, “Plays the Greys” is a stunning patchwork of musical pieces, pieces which start and sometimes stop in the middle of a song, change tunes and styles and move on. Field recordings show up, then fade away. Rooted in blues stylings, heavily influenced by blues, but moving beyond to whatever the next thing blues will become, Melchior is leading the pack. Written after his wife passed away, one can’t help but listen for the sorrow and grief of loss. “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” is the middle song and takes you there, but then half way through turns into this rousing blues stomp. What? I listened to the whole album straight through three times in a row and got it more and more until it started to take over. This is about… or shows melancholy, grief, the not knowing what to do after a tragedy, boredom, uncertainness, playfulness….. it’s mood switches. Being disjointed and maybe in limbo. A grey area. And maybe not. “Smirk and Chuckle” has the recordings of a person laughing while the guitar plays over and around it. “Length of Pipe” speaks of how others never really know how difficult one’s partner can be. “I Can’t” starts off with a drone somewhat reminiscent of what Dan’s wife, Letha Rodman Melchior, would compose. A solo electric guitar slowly takes over, mournful notes drowning out the drone. And then it stops. No preparation for it. Just gone. Listen seriously.

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