Oog Casey Driessen
Red Shoe Records
As tough as it might be to categorize the music created by Casey Driessen and his magic fiddle, its easy stuff to listen to welcoming and familiar while sounding like nothing youve ever heard before. The wide-open range of sounds and styles on Driessens newly-released Oog might leave you thinking you should tag a space on your CD shelf for Afro/Celtic/Indian-Flavored Appalachian Music With Overtones From Outer Space – but thats up to you. Me, Id just go the alphabetical route, forget about labels, and savor the music.
Key to the feel of Oog is the outstanding round-the-world percussion work of Matt Chamberlain combined with the unbreakable backbone provided by Viktor Krauss bass. On the album opener, Driessens fiddle melds with both to create a multi-limbed/multi-voiced rhythm djinn in a tartan kilt.
Along with audio accents by sound artist Fognode (aka Brian Siskind), Oogs mood is enhanced by the great guitar work of Darrell Scott, who provides beautiful weaves with Driessen on Lunar Cages and Hummingbirds Vs. Yellowjackets. And then theres Casey himself the audio Walt Disney responsible for this album of musical cartoon fantasies that you wish were real. For instance
Close your eyes and Ashland Breakdown becomes a cut from Electric Ladyland with Jimi Hendrix playing backwards-tracked fiddle. Listen as a smiling Hendrix hands the bow off to Django Reinhardt, who proceeds to whip up a gypsy jazz-flavored dervish on Hunt For The Quail Egg. And then Django, ever the gentleman, politely asks Jimmy Page to put down the Les Paul and hands him the fiddle for Flexible Helix. (This is what Led Zeps Black Dog wouldve/couldve been, boys and girls.)
Dizzy? Confused? Intimidated? Dont be. Casey Driessen might take you to other worlds, but rest assured that youre in good hands. Just lay back in your pressurized holograph yak-skin-over-reed basket and enjoy the trip.