Saturday, March 28, 2009

DANIEL HIGGS: “Devotional Songs of Daniel Higgs” c90 (Open Mouth)

Listening to this made me realize that every time a current folk singer’s songs are described as hymns, that it’s incredibly unfounded. On “Devotional Songs”, Daniel Higgs actually has a song that repeats the word “amen” with the same structure as any you might hear in church. There are really a lot of lyrical concepts covered here, including things like outer space, the universe, and religion, all of which are incredibly deep, none of which I understand, so I won’t attempt to write about them. This isn’t an unappreciated confusion though, it piques the curiosity and creates the desire to interpret, at least for one’s self.

Higgs primarily uses banjo and guitar (and organ on one occasion) and, this is going to sound cliche, I know, but his ululating voice really does act as it’s own instrument, running a gamut of ranges that would never make sense on paper over his lightning fast finger-picking. Incredibly long (well over an hour), and modestly recorded, at one point even talking to the listener as he pauses to open a window, this is basically a wet dream for the Harry Smith of the future. I was never really interested in his previous band, Lungfish, but after hearing this, I think it’s time to visit the back catalog of this modern-day mystic.

Comes with color labels and insert.