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Published: 2008/11/24
by Brian Robbins

Once More Into the Bliss – Boris Garcia

Dig Music

Dear Mr. B I don’t usually write to advice columns, but I’m sort of stuck and I need some help. I’m down to the last few names on my Christmas list and don’t have a clue what to get them. Here’s who I have left:

o My Uncle Dave who must be about ready to retire as a college professor. He’s kinda cool (I think he was at Woodstock), but it weirds me out when he asks me if I have any pot up in my room he can buy.)

o My grandparents Total Celtic music freaks.

o My big brother Mister Jambands himself who thinks I’m a total dork when it comes to music.

o And this real sweet redheaded girl that sits in front of me in English class.

Got any ideas?

Sincerely, Grateful In Grand Forks

Dear Grateful Don’t fret; help is on the way. It seems your ol’ buddy Mr. B sliced open the shrinkwrap on the answer to your dilemma just moments ago. I’d say four copies of the new Boris Garcia album Once More Into The Bliss ought to clean up that list pretty well. I know, I know you probably don’t believe that one album is going to tickle the fancy of everyone you mentioned, but trust Mr. B on this one, G-Man: it’s the right thing to do. These five Philly-area buddies take jamgrass instrumentation (you’re going to hear some beautiful mandolin on the album, for instance) on a trip around the world and it all sounds like, well, Boris Garcia.

When your big bro snorts and says he “never heard of this guy,” tell him Boris is a band and then say something like, “I suppose you never heard of Railroad Earth, either? Tim Carbone produced the album and plays some mean violin on it, too.” That’ll get him. (And if it doesn’t, watch his ears perk up to the sound of guest Buddy Cage’s pedal steel. Remember to act cool and nonchalant: “Yeah, that’s Buddy who else would it be?”) The steel master lays down some fine New Riders-style picking on the foot-stomper “Through The Window” and gives you the chills on the haunting “Other Side."

And, see that’s the beauty of this album, Grateful: everybody’s going to hear something different. Uncle Dave is going to pop a leather patch right off the elbow of his corduroy jacket when he hears cuts like “Holiday” with its Beatle-like strings or the churning “River Man”. (Wait and see if he doesn’t murmur something like “Oh, wow, man Fairport Convention.”) And I’m guessing ol’ Uncle Dave has burned one or two while listening to the New Riders so there’s that connection, too.

The grandparents? Heck, they’ll be openly weeping by the time “The Ballad Of Captain Jack” is over watch em when Tim Carbone lays into the bow I guarantee that’ll put them over the edge.

And when it comes to the red head, G-Guy, well, it’s like this: Mr. B doesn’t care what her musical tastes are you make sure to put a post-it note on the jewel case that directs her to “Scootch”, the tale of a rescued kitten. By the time she gets to that line about rubbing the little fella’s belly, she’ll be putty in your hands.

Tell you what, Grateful strike a deal with your record shop connection and get a copy of this album for yourself, too. Sounds like Mr. Carbone took a bunch of guys who were really comfortable with each other to begin with and helped make them feel even more locked-in for this session. (“Soup to nuts in 14 days, including string arrangements, basics, overdubs, and mixing,” according to Tim.)

So, what are you waiting for? Go for it. Glad to help.

Your pal,

Mr. B

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