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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kurgan's Bane - The Future Lies Broken – If you ever wondered what Rush might have sounded like with a female vocalist, wonder no more. Baltimore-based four-piece Kurgan's Bane is a band that obviously idolizes Rush, especially the Moving...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues