Steve Tibbetts — Natural Causes
(ECM 1951, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01On first listen, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that Natural Causes might be a collection of out-takes from Tibbetts' 1982 album Northern Song, his very first LP for ECM. Indeed, the feeling is very similar, driven by introspective and spacious acoustic improvisations that celebrate fragmentary melodies and intermittent bursts of intensity, where the absence of sound is every bit as important as the elemental fabric of guitar, percussion and kalimba that makes up the dreamy concepts that make up the thirteen titles here. One important difference is that while the earlier album centered on longer pieces, most of what's here could be thought of as vignettes that often barely last over a minute or two (although there are several that stretch out a bit more). His playing style is immediately recognizable, which seems to channel the essence of Hendrix by way of John Fahey, and even in this near-total acoustic setting there are few moments where even a listener familiar only with his electric work wouldn't pick out some of the stylistic quirks that are uniquely his own. Percussionist Marc Anderson, who has been Tibbetts' primary sideman since the late 70s is the only other player here, and even at that his contributions are spare. Those who only know the guitarist’s more recent electric work will be in for a nice surprise.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more