Joel Silbersher & Charlie Owen
Soaking Red (hac71)
Tendrils Soaking Red is the first release from Joel Silbersher and Charlie Owen as a duo under this name. It is not, however, their first collaboration. In 1995 they released an album entitled Tendrils as "Joel Silbersher & Charlie Owen" on the Dog Meat label.
The music that Joel and Charlie make together is hard to categorise. The "psych-folk" angle that some have taken in describing Tendrils deals with only one aspect of their sound. It's not "indie pop" or "slowcore" or any such franchise, and it's not country (though at times it does convey the same kind of glorious heartbreak as the best country music). It's not "the blues" though it is organic, darkly beautiful, sparse & intense. Comparisons are difficult because there's not another album like this one.
Based around the duo's intriguing and highly emotive guitar work, supplemented with a frugal use of drums and a brooding, at times unnerving, organ presence, Soaking Red is a collaboration of major influence. It does not follow or "give the nod" to any prevailing musical trend. It is the music that Joel and Charlie make when they are together, and it is something very special. If that is not immediately apparent to you then you need to play the cd again.
Joel Silbersher is the frontman for Melbourne based outfit Hoss, who redefined rock'n'roll for this scribe on their last album (their fifth) Do You Leave Here Often, where they juxtapose the heart-wrenching with the heart-starting. He also performs solo and releases albums under the name Melonman which reveal his predilection for idiocy and a wide variety of diverse and distinctive sounds. He is also known to play live as part of Tex Perkins band.
Where do you start with someone like Charlie Owen? Dobro player with the Working Class Ringos. Guitar player with the Beasts of Bourbon. One third of Tex, Don & Charlie on the Sad But True cd. Charlie has made albums and toured throughout the world with the New Christs, Divinyls and Louis Tillett, and released an instrumental solo album Vertigo. In a recent interview with Juice, Paul Kelly stated "I've always admired the spirit in which he plays music. It's to play from your heart - what's inside you - and not worry whether it's going to make you a million bucks".
Tendrils Soaking Red was released on September 21, 1998 on Half A Cow Records.
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