10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Beyond the obvious round of mainstream blues bands that employ guitarists, pianists, organists, and drummers, there’s an underground of bands that strip it down. Then there’s Lonesome Shack. Unlike so many postmodern blues bands, Lonesome Shack don’t deliberately oversaturate everything; they currently have a bassist in Luke Bergman to fill out the sound. Yet they stick to the hypnotic minimalism of Junior Kimbrough. Singer/guitarist Ben Todd plays licks that are less about pyrotechnics and more about an eloquent lyricism that keeps thing remarkably simple while satisfying the songs at hand. Match that with drummer Kristian Garrard, and Lonesome Shack take on an identity of their own. A song with a title like “Die Alone” suggests deep despair, but there’s a gorgeous guitar tone and vocal effect that holds the song together like a vintage Excello Records side. This might be the rare blues album that could also be used for meditating, so calming is the intricate repetition of the songs.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Beyond the obvious round of mainstream blues bands that employ guitarists, pianists, organists, and drummers, there’s an underground of bands that strip it down. Then there’s Lonesome Shack. Unlike so many postmodern blues bands, Lonesome Shack don’t deliberately oversaturate everything; they currently have a bassist in Luke Bergman to fill out the sound. Yet they stick to the hypnotic minimalism of Junior Kimbrough. Singer/guitarist Ben Todd plays licks that are less about pyrotechnics and more about an eloquent lyricism that keeps thing remarkably simple while satisfying the songs at hand. Match that with drummer Kristian Garrard, and Lonesome Shack take on an identity of their own. A song with a title like “Die Alone” suggests deep despair, but there’s a gorgeous guitar tone and vocal effect that holds the song together like a vintage Excello Records side. This might be the rare blues album that could also be used for meditating, so calming is the intricate repetition of the songs.

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