Saturday, December 28, 2019

FTW, 12.27.2019

I love the temporal indeterminacy of this time of year. My wife and I enjoyed a leisurely day, viewing the Gordon Parks exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum (go see it before it closes on Sunday!), enjoying leftover fish curry (our project for her winter vacation is breaking the seal on the Instant Pot), then realizing there was a show at the Grackle Art Gallery and strolling down the street to see it.

The Grackle's a labor of love for Matt Sacks and Linda Little, and a haven for music I dig that nobody else in Fort Worth is booking. Through the agency of Kavin Allenson, I've seen performances by favorite performers like James Hall, Bill Pohl, Gregg Prickett, and Sarah Ruth Alexander, and also was able (via Kavin's monthly Straw Drawing Improv Jam) to reacquaint myself with musical performance and become part of a community of musos that I enjoy mightily.

Last night's show started out with one of those musos, the endlessly inventive guitarist Darrin Kobetich, playing a solo set on 12-string and oud. Darrin's constantly creating and performing in a variety of contexts. This night found him deep into a Fahey/Kottke "American primitive" bag, using metal fingerpicks, open tunings, slide, percussive tapping, and chiming harmonics to create free-flowing inventions with galloping forward motion. On oud, he seems tapped into some deep and ancient source, although its roots aren't readily apparent.

Topping the bill was Darrin's pal from Austin, the peripatetic troubadour Ralph E. White. I'd previously heard Ralph a decade or so ago, when he was doing a nice line in experimental bluegrass with a looper pedal. Since then, he's traveled as far as West Virginia and Kentucky, and his music has taken on a more folkloric cast. Accompanying himself on accordion, fretless 6-string banjo, electric guitar, fiddle, and kalimba, he sings stream-of-consciousness songs that sound as though they emanate from some haunted Appalachian holler.

Listening now to Colours of Time, Kavin's new CD under the rubric Breaking Light. It's an agreeable collection of ambient excursions, extemporized on guitar with loops and delay, redolent of Fripp Soundscapes, mid-period Floyd, "Dark Star" Dead, and lots more. Kavin has been doing pop-up Breaking Light performances at various locations around town. The release show for Colours of Time is set for January 3rd at GROWL in Arlington (with a guest artist who may or may not be Warr guitarist Mark Cook from Herd of Instinct).


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