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

2019-04-10
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

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Maxophone - Maxophone – Ah yes, yet another great Italian band. The closest comparison that I can make is with Locanda delle Fate, but that doesn't quite describe Maxophone. While Locanda was a full, rich seven piece that...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues