Exposé Online banner

Neil Haverstick — If the Earth Was a Woman
((Not on label) no#, 2002, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2004-04-01

If the Earth Was a Woman Cover artHaverstick is a pioneering guitarist, known for his work in microtonal scales. The two previous releases we have reviewed in these pages — Acoustic Stick (n.18, p.50), and Other Worlds (n.20, p.48) — were each the fruit of singular visions, exploring microtonal registers on Haverstick's 34- and 19-tone electric and acoustic guitars in a completely instrumental format, with and without other musicians. If the Earth Was a Woman follows a number of different paths, perhaps representing Haverstick's wider musical interests. To be sure there are plenty of microtonal workouts here, acoustic and electric, plus several pieces featuring vocals and lyrics, explorations in rock, blues and country. "The Train" is a spoken piece with solo improv acoustic microtonal backing, which leads right into "Big Old Train," a country rocker that might recall the Grateful Dead around 1970 were it not for the strange and magical blistering microtonal guitar solo. One of the discs standouts is the thoughtful and pointed "Sometimes It's Right (To Kill a Man)" which favors a sort of muted reggae styling with a solid bass groove, and features vocalist Mark Caldwell. "Microseconds" is a dark and heavy instrumental rock monster that drives along seemingly changing key at will, falling into free ambient improvisation and back again, creating one of the discs most eerie pieces — perhaps this is what King Crimson would sound like if all their frets were taken away! In all, this is Haverstick's calling card, exploring a number of new and different directions.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 29, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Neil Haverstick (Stick Man)

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trygve Seim - Sangam – If there was ever a time for a new jazz icon, composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim surely fits that bill. His ensemble's well received performance at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival was a jaw-dropper,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues