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Barbecue Bob In Fishtown

Glenn Jones

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Album Review

The third full solo release by Glenn Jones finds the scholarly, carefully elegant performer continuing to stake out his own style on not only acoustic guitar, but banjo, which as he describes in his unsurprisingly entertaining and informative liner notes as "an instrument I love, but which I only came to in the past two years or so." Jones' apparently effortless way around performing what are often astonishingly complex pieces makes Barbecue Bob in Fishtown as much a joy as his many other solo and collaborative efforts, but in an odd — and inviting — way, Barbecue Bob is almost a pop album for him. Not in a mainstream 2009-era sense of the term, but the focus on shorter pieces and immediate, joyful thrills helps situate the release as both a showcase for his abilities and a way to introduce a new listener to possibilities of experimental acoustic performance on the instruments. There's a palpable energy and cheer in songs like the title track as well as stark, strange beauty in the slow, focused notes on "Snowdrops (For Robert Walser)," while his banjo performances combine the familiar, fluid flow of his guitar work with the instrument's at-once homey and strangely distant, mysterious sound, as readily heard on "Keep It a Hundred Years" and "A Lark in Earnest." Meanwhile, one of Jones' icons, Robbie Basho, gets a hat tip not once but twice — "1337 Shattuck Avenue, Apartment D" is a specific tribute to the musician, while "Redwood Ramble Misremembered" resulted as Jones explains in the notes, after remembering a portion of Basho's "Redwood Ramble" and ending up with a wholly new piece in the end instead.

Biography

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Founding member of the enigmatic indie instrumental group Cul de Sac, Glenn Jones started playing guitar at age 14, opening the door on what would be a decades-long journey into inventive and exploratory sounds. Along with fellow Boston experimental musician Robin Amos, Jones formed Cul de Sac in 1990. The two would be the only constant members throughout the band's lifespan. Over the next two decades, the band would release a plethora of albums, singles, and EPs, focusing almost entirely on instrumental...
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Barbecue Bob In Fishtown, Glenn Jones
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