Exposé Online banner

Carl Weingarten — Life under Stars
(Multiphase Records MP-CD118, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-08-04

Life under Stars Cover art

With an unparalleled freshness in style, slide guitarist Carl Weingarten offers up another collection of brilliant instrumental ensemble work. Call this pure Americana, informed by equal parts of country, blues, rock, world music, a touch of classical, all steeped in a long career of inventive experimentation. When one hears much of what’s here, it seems like a perfect companion soundtrack to a drive out in the country, with farms, cornfields and big trees, beautiful streams and snowy peaks, the little town with the old gas station and a general store that goes by in the blink of an eye. The style is kinetic, but gently applied with tasty arrangements, a thoroughly satisfying journey using an abundance of acoustic and electric instrumentation that perfectly suit the compositions. Weingarten paints the basic sounds and images for the ten tracks using mostly acoustic guitar and dobro, adding additional electric slide guitar parts and looping effects with ebow and such. At the same time he has surrounded his playing with a rotating cast of superb musicians, track depending, all keenly tuned in to his musical vision. Michael Manring provides bass on most of the cuts, along with a main group of players that includes Robert Powell on pedal steel, Kit Walker on keyboards, Pat Duffey on additional guitars, drummer and percussionist Celso Alberti, and Jeff Oster on trumpet and flugelhorn, the latter contributing some memorable solos on several pieces. Other players figure in also, contributing whatever is needed at any given moment. “Code Blues” is perhaps the most rocking track here, with numerous layers of electric and slide guitar swirling over a punchy riff. Those familiar with Weingarten’s previous ensemble works like Blue Faith and Panamorphia will have a good idea of the musicianship and visionary principles that guide Life under Stars. For those who haven’t, this is as good a place as any to start your journey.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Carl Weingarten

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cruz de Hierro - Crossroads – Some may recall this Mexican quintet from their performance at Baja Prog many years back; in fact they have come a long way toward finding their own sound since those earlier days. Their stock in...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues