vhf#125 Cian Nugent Doubles LP/CD
"Doubles" is the first widely-available release by Irish guitarist Cian Nugent, a showcase of major talent in an audacious setting of two side-long epics. Clearly inspired by the Takoma-classics and the recent generation of greats (Rose, Jones, etc), Cian delivers two perfectly formed takes on the classic steel-string sound, one (mostly) unaccompanied, the other an expertly arranged full-band throwdown. "Peaks & Troughs" is a slow-building solo piece in the style of Fahey's "Fare Forward Voyagers," with each part perfectly connected to the previous. Cian has ample technique, but the virtuosity here is all in service of the mood and the build up. His guitar has a darker, intimate sound than many current players, without the brittle ring common to fingerstyle. The emergence of a deep drone after 15 minutes shakes up the track, like a swarm of bees spilling out of the speakers. In contrast, "Sixes & Sevens" is a percolating jam in the style of Jim O'Rourke's classic LP "Bad Timing," with Cian's steel string riding an inventive wave of drums, organ, viola, woodwinds, and brass in an ambitious, filmic masterpiece. The main tune of the song is instantly memorable, building momentum before a subdued interlude that resets things for an elegant, orchestrated finish. CD is in beautiful folio printed on heavy art paper by Stumptown Printers. Audiophile LP is in equally fine gatefold and includes download coupon. Both formats are among the finest looking and sounding productions we've ever had the good fortune to be involved with! CD $10, LP (w/download coupon) $14
vhf#130 Cian Nugent Grass Above My Head/My War Blues 7"