William Maker - Agapao
More in the Waits/Beefheart vocal lineage, this is a bluesy singer-songwriter project that takes the listener through 15 self-penned tracks with Maker performing all parts of singing and instrumentation. It isn't an album of memorable melody - rather it's simple blues or melodic lines repeated and made engaging by the slide or echoing guitar riffs played - usually delicately and certainly unobtrusively - above this. There's occasional harmonica and simple beat as on Holy Spark which has minor peaks of instrumentation, but always the gruff vocal holding it tight and focused. Title track Agapao is a gentle blues with slide guitar, baritone growl and self-harmonising - not much more can describe such simplicity. Fourth track Rosebud is a slight jumped heartbeat within the whole restrained pulse, sixth On High On chances on some pace too, and seventh I Am I is the liveliest of all, a relatively jaunty instrumental at 1 minute and 54 seconds [though follower Revival 6 is no absolute slouch]. Closer Sol is another slow blues with more electric slide and harp, so slowed it makes sure the listener has never been aroused to reverie but instead kept calmed by the album's sustained straightforward patterns. None of this is criticism: it's to characterise the mood for listening.
Autobiographical details and digital download can be found at http://music.makerworks.com/