MICAH BLUE SMALDONE
HITHER AND THITHER LP (2005)
*deluxe 180 gram vinyl pressed at record
technology, inc., with an 8 page booklet, housed in a beautiful full color "old style/tip-on" jacket manufactured
by Stoughton printing. limited edition of 500.
Micah Blue Smaldone.
A distinctive name, no? Micah? A minor Hebrew prophet. Blue? A hippy-ish middle name. Red white and? Moon of Kentucky? Smaldone.
could be Italian, or Old English. I understand his grandfather (on his mother's side) fought with the John Brown Battery in
the Spanish Civil War and taught young Micah plenty of the old songs - but don't ask him to play Jarama Valley in Catalan.
It's just too sad. His grandfather never got over it, and the whole Comintern business still sticks in his craw. His great
grandfather (on his father's side) was the local IWW guy who saw to it that a little bit of Joe Hill was scattered in the
Pine Tree State.
Well, I just want to say to the country that this is
a real decent, fine boy. Micah Blue's got an original voice, reedy and spare, and he's a virtuoso ragtime finger-picker, too.
His songs are charming, antique ditties - austere Tin-Pan Alley tunes with lyrics by Soren Kierkegaard. Like a single bright
light, his music illuminates much while also casting a lot of sharp shadows, lovely, dark and deep.
he plays live, he tenses up his whole body - tenser than you'd expect for a folk musician, like he might snap the strings,
or snap the neck of his guitar, or just snap. But there's not a trace of irony in his music or in his performance, and I guess
that's the Yankee in him.
See, it gets cold at night up there in Maine,
where he's from, and when you got the blank eye of god bearing down on you, and you got the Jukes and the Kallikacks next
door getting high on Freon or something, it just makes a man think seriously about where he fits in. Willem de Kooning, gazing
up at the star-spangled sky over Black Mountain in the forties, remarked "the universe gives me the creeps," and
I imagine Micah might agree.
Human consciousness may be a makeshift
contraption held together with bailing wire and duct tape, but it will have to suffice. And it may well be true that regret
and loss are inescapable human conditions (if you marry you will regret it, and if you don't marry you'll regret that too).
But it is also true that music is a bulwark against such notions of human frailty, and Micah Blue's music does more than suffice.
It offers balm and succor to a weary soul.
"Micah is so good,"
Jack Rose told me, "he'll make you throw your dick in the dirt!" I certainly agree with the spirit, if not the letter,
of Mr. Rose's sentiments. I'll have to let you personally be the judge on that score, though you ladies will have to determine
some sort of equivalent for yourselves, assuming you concur.
Limited edition of 500 copies in hard card
sleeves and heavy duty vinyl from the same label that brought you the vinyl version of Jack Rose’s Kensington Blues.
Micah sources his vaudeville blues in a tradition that predates even the American mystery schools favoured by Jack Rose, crossing
early folk forms with ragtime and minstrel stylings and a macabre showtune aspect which brings to mind the work of Dame Darcy,
Tiny Tim and Josephine Foster. Despite the inclusion of a cover of Jelly Roll Morton’s “New Orleans Bump”
the bulk of the album remains historically unlocatable and sourced in a very personal vision of old-timey joy and sorrow that
will appeal to fans of Current 93 as much as Karen Dalton and Jack Rose. Highly recommended.
My album of the week would happily go to Micah Blue Smaldone's
opus Hither & Thither. The 1st time I heard this a couple of years ago I was blown away. For some reason I never banged
on about it at the time.... was probably busy or something. Shame cos it's a great record. He plays a steel guitar and he
fits in somewhere between Jack Rose, Charlie Parr and Al Duvall (without the comedy). Incredible songs.... a fine fine talent
indeed and there's only 500 of these puppies on vinyl (though we have the CD in stock!)
The second full length from Micah Blue Smaldone
is another beauty right out of the middle of nowhere. Combining intricate finger picking Jack Rose style with an old timey
Ragtime / Tin Pan Alley feel and topping it all off with a unique voice that's part Van Dyke Parks part John Jacob Niles in
the process creating a set of tunes dripping with dark charms and antique magic. Beautifully housed in a superb thick sleeve
with 8 page booklet and pressed on 180g vinyl this is another winner from the Tequila Sunrise label.
PURCHASE DIRECT SALES
||19.98usd north america/postage paid
||29.98usd the world/postage paid
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