When I figured it was about time that I began posting some new material here on these dusty blogger pages, I had to choose between starting again with a bang or a whimper. My answer came to me each night as I settled into bed and found myself constantly returning to one of my ultimate favorite late-night records of all time. A record called HARD AGAIN by Scott Tuma.
Scott Tuma is of of those artists that has an uncanny ability to craft a truly unique sound full of msytery, power, and sheer unpretentious beauty. Using the acoustic guitar as the main instrument, these pieces are more like sketches of songs than actual songs...remnants from a faded sketchbook of ideas. The notes drift and hang in the air....tangling themselves up in smoke and creeping through mirrors of the mind. In short, this is music made up of memories. When I lie in bed and listen to these haunting compositions floating in and out of my head, I picture walking through a carnival ground, long after closing time...maybe the sun is about to rise and all the carneys are involved in the last minute revelry before closing out. Someone is strumming a banjo behind the big tent, there's a dwarf learning how to drink absinthe, a ballerina is winding down her toy soldier dance before the dawn... or better yet, these are the sounds of the morning after the carnival has left town. There's not much left on the grounds except for a few ropes, bits of trash, and sounds....sounds on the wind of the previous night's frolic. Echoes and spirits entangled within the fabric and patches of the breeze. There is a melody there somewhere, but only the fragments remain. It's all left up to the inner ear to connect the dots.
I could go on and on, but I simply ask you to take some time and breathe and live with this sound. Americana? Ambient? Both and whatever...life-changing album.