Stickman

Hide & Seek
Stickman Records

Neil Haverstick is well known for pulling musical experimentation out of the realm of theory into practice. For more than twenty years, the guitarist has explored 19- and 36-tone tuning structures, expanding his instrument's vocabulary beyond its traditional 12-tone confines. While past releases like 2009's Spider placed Haverstick's style in a formal, orchestral context, Hide & Seek fuses the guitarist's heady experiments in a decidedly bluesy framework. Haverstick uses ambitious solos and rhythmic patterns on 36-tone Telecasters, fretless banjos and 19-tone basses to summon storied country and Chicago blues styles, adding a free-jazz complexity to the genre's basic structures. Songs like "Blue Ain't Nothin'" and "Wolf at the Door" fuse singer Jack Hadley's straightforward, impassioned blues delivery with Haverstick's expansive electric solos, while "Blue Delta" mixes the meditative pace of acoustic blues with stark guitar tones and eerie, wordless vocals from Neela. It's a contemporary tribute to old masters that recalls the finest work from John McLaughlin and John Fahey.

 
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