“s/t” (Dismal Niche)

I am a man of constant sorrow. I’ve seen trouble all my day. Well, now that you mention it, I have not seen trouble all my day, and I’m not really in a state of constant sorrow. But you’ll have to excuse me that the old Soggy Bottom Boys song gets lodged in the ol’ thinker from time to time, especially when I’m faced with a full-on deluge of Americana in the form of rootsy folk from the Midwest. And to be fair, Tim Pilcher and Monica Lord do not recall the Soggy Bottom Boys (maybe a bit on “The Hermit”), but they ply the trade of a-pickin’ and a-bowin’ they’s instruments till the sweet heavenly angels come to rest on the roofs of the lucky homes from which their celestial emanations emerge. Pilcher with his acoustic guitar sends the prayers of the downtrodden aloft, notes gently sparkling off into the night sky like embers from a campfire. Lord draws the angels to earth and tethers them here with her plaintive cello, beseeching them with supplications for increased attention. This self-titled tape is pure nighttime meditativeness, beyond the back porch but never backwoods – the aw-shucks dreamer and romantic in me is fully sated after its too-brief encroachment into my consciousness. So what do I do now, now that I’ve melted into the background, into the shadows, become adrift on the night? Can I speak in a different language, from a different pulpit, with a different message? No more sorrow, no more trouble. I will not be run out of this town. I will be redeemed! Forgiven – but maybe not by the great state of Mississippi? Ah well. I guess I should never have knocked over that Piggly Wiggly in Yazoo City. But hey – at least I know what redemption SOUNDS like. Sounds like this tape.

Dismal Niche

--Ryan Masteller