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BARRY WALKER

SHOULDA ZENITH

HOLY MOUNTAIN


Format: LP
Cata No: HOLY2000
Barcode: 655035600017
The sky goes on forever in Barry Walker Jr.’s Shoulda
Zenith, and it’s crackling with unexpected lightning. The
Tennessee-bred, Portland-based pedal steel master subverts
his instrument’s tradition for lachrymose, innocuous
Rootzak™. Instead, he ventures to outward-bound strata
more frequently traversed by Sonny Sharrock than Gram
Parsons. “So often, the pedal steel is used as a textural flavor,”
Walker says, “but it really can breathe fire itself.” Evidence
for that claim abounds on Shoulda Zenith. Sprouting out of
the strategies Walker used on his 2012 LP of Henry Flynt
and Paul Metzger-like fiddle aberrations, Banjo Knife, the
music on Zenith goes on similar extravagant tangents—but
with pedal steel.
Assisted here and there by bassist Scott Derr and
drummer Dana Valatka, and others, Walker has
synthesized his love for country, New Age, freeform
freakouts, and ecstatic music on Zenith. One can hear
traces of the laid-back sinuousness of Texas psych-rockers
Cold Sun, Fushitsusha’s craggy, acid-rock excoriations,
and Doug Sahm’s sprightly melodic sweetness. One may
notice “Insect Interlude” adding new colors to Terry Riley’s
Rainbow In Curved Air and “Up The Fan, Into The Keyhole”
taking Sharrock’s Black Woman to Appalachia. Tilt the
head just right and “Shoulda Zenith” and “Trinity Payload”
may be the most psychedelic things a pandemic-besieged
mind will encounter in 2020. Cosmic country didn’t know
it needed its own Inventions For Electric Guitar, but now
that it’s arrived, the Gilded Palace Of Sin is starting to seem
like a dilapidated bungalow.

Tracks:

1. Totally Tan
2. Derr Of The Schwann
(Break Of The Dawn)
3. Shoulda Zenith
4. Mud Crack Gallop
5. Insect Interlude (Circa The Airbase)
6. Up The Fan, Into The Keyhole
7. Trinity Payload
8. Easy, As The Phainopepla
9. Like A Prisoner

Press:

Pedal steel master delves into his love of
country, New Age, freeform freakouts, and
ecstatic music
? For fans of Terry Riley, Sonny Sharrock,
Doug Sahm, Fushitsusha, and Cold Sun

 

Audio & Video:

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