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Carl Weingarten — Slide of Hand (Remastered & Expanded)
(Multiphase Records MK-CD-129, 1991/2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-05-23

Slide of Hand (Remastered & Expanded) Cover art

On his early recordings, many in collaboration with the likes of synthesists Gale Ormiston and Walter Whitney, percussionist Joe Venegoni, and others, Carl Weingarten’s work could be characterized as that of a disciple of the Fripp and Eno school, many novel experiments with loops, sustain, and delays, beautifully melodic pieces that grip the listener in ambient bliss. In somewhat of a surprising move, in 1991 Weingarten released a cassette tape called Slide of Hand, entirely of all original instrumental slide guitar work, plenty of acoustic, some electric too, dobro and National steel, all drawing on a number of different idioms, including blues, bluegrass, country, folk, and Americana in general; the tape featured thirteen cuts, some solo, others with the accompaniment of regulars like bassists Darrell Mixon and Alsamad Shakir, pedal steel player Robert Powell, violinist / percussionist Geoff Seitz, guitarist Tony Fafoglia, synthesist Walter Whitney, Stick player Tom Saxby, percussionist Joe Venegoni, and others. Over all the years since, Slide of Hand never got the digital treatment it most certainly deserved (either compact disc or download) until now, so this remastered and expanded edition is a most welcome treat. In the process of going from tape to digital, one track was dropped for whatever reason, but six new previously unreleased cuts were added, bringing the new total to 20. A few years after the original tape release, several of these songs here found their way onto the Redwood Melodies cassette (and later CD release), though likely re-recordings or remixes like the opener “Rivals and Friends,” and “Pick it Up” is most certainly a different recording with additional accompaniment. Other standouts from this set include the elegant “Up the Down Slide” where Weingarten is joined by Walter Whitney and cellist Angela Field, the brief and heretofore unreleased “Circus Blues,” where Weingarten completes his vision using multiple layers of resonator steel guitar, the original closer “Heaven's Blues,” a dreamy seven-plus minute arrangement with synth, bass, and additional guitars, and “Lose a Friend,” a beautiful and touching solo piece that exists in its own musical world. The track order has been re-sequenced to better accommodate the additional tracks. Such a joy to hear Slide of Hand in its remastered magnificence.

Filed under: Archives, 2024 releases, 1991 recordings

Related artist(s): Carl Weingarten

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