Ben Reynolds (UK), Mike Tamburo (Pitt), Evening Fires (PA)
Ben Reynolds is a songwriter, solo steel string guitarist and
improviser from Glasgow, Scotland. His recent solo work has focused on
his unique take on folk-derived acoustic guitar styles, though his
background also includes everything from ambient electronics to
avant-garde improvisation. Outside of solo work, he is a member of UK
folk-rock supergroup Trembling Bells,
whose 2009 debut album Carbeth has met with enthusiastic reviews; and
he has been a collaborator/contributor to various musical
projects including Motor Ghost (duo w/Alex Neilson), Baby Dee, Ashtray
Navigations, Nalle, and Directing Hand amongst others.
Reynolds' latest solo release is How Day Earnt Its Night, on the esteemed Tompkins Square label, who describe it thusly: "In his solo instrumental works, Reynolds draws upon the vast well of musical inspiration native to the British Isles as well as that found across the Atlantic and beyond. 'How Day Earnt Its Night' consolidates his interest in British and American folk guitar traditions in concise and intensely melodic pieces as well as longer, expressionist improvisations. The intricacies of British guitar luminaries such as Bert Jansch and Davy Graham are found alongside the stark grandeur of John Fahey's 'American primitive guitar' stylings."
Mike Tamburo is a 21st century Renaissance man who has forged his way into the consciousness of the American underground music community. For the past 13 years, Tamburo has been relentlessly releasing records (31 releases and counting) under different monikers and projects including Meisha, Arco Flute Foundation & various imprints under his own name. He has performed over 500 shows all over the United States, traveling to every nook and cranny, searching for some kind of an understanding of what America truly is. Though always considering himself a multi-instrumentalist, he gained fame and notoriety with his fingerstyle guitar playing and his idiosyncratic use of effects; only to swear himself off of the acoustic guitar, eventually setting it on fire and hurling it off of Pittsburgh's 40th Street Bridge. His effects soon followed. Tamburo is a man who continues to reinvent himself, recently finding his new musical passion in the hammered dulcimer; building upon his own unique compositional stylings, he has developed a voice for the instrument that is very much his own. He is greatly inspired by American folk and minimalist music traditions as well as Indian classical music, but often expands outward to include influences from avant-garde to noise to modern compositional music. A Tamburo performance is always a very transportive experience. Tamburo is also an artist, film maker, writer, instrument builder, curator of the Fantastic Voyagers Festivals, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama devotee, and inner state researcher; exploring alpha and theta states, floatation tanks, ethnobotany, orgone energy, and ecstatic states of being. He also runs the New American Folk Hero label, which continues to release an eclectic roster of creative and experimental musics.
From their secret den in a northern Appalachian forest, Evening Fires brew up a rich blend of wide-spectrum rural psychedelia, with ingredients ranging from earthy folk sounds to cosmic drones to full-on rock freakouts.