published: 25 /
Inventive Americana from experimental Scandinavian composer and multi-instrumentalist Stein Urheim
'Downhill Uplift' is a beautifully constructed and well executed addition to the Hubro catalogue. At first listen the jazz excursions of Ry Cooder spring to mind but further investigation reveals a more earthy complicated affair. Surprisingly on three tracks bandleader and composer Urheim adds sleepy laidback vocals into the jazzy flavoured set of tunes as the album gently explores new territory.
On an album that feels about as far away from Scandinavia as you can get the widescreen sense of open American plains prevails . The self-titled opener guitar glides along nicely. Ghostly guitars hint at an abandoned mining town with desert winds moaning through dilapidated buildings. In this cinematic setting a spacious 'Brave New World Revisited' features rolling drums that move things along nicely with a tight groove. I think I hear a bouzouki in there as well. Urheim’s vocals sit comfortably in the mix With two percussionists in his band there is always a feel of movement and freedom flowing through this album. 'Free to Go' gives the band the opportunity to experiment and highlights the group's ability to explore new territory as the composition meanders in and out of experimental moods.
The American influences are never far away. The slide guitar sounds really tasty. On 'Lamp' I get a hint of Davw Gilmour but this combo is capable of real invention free from any outside interference. 'Poor Moon' is a sleazy slide guitar-driven blues with a mean harmonica and swampy percussion, possibly the stand out track on the album.
Comic desert blues to be savoured.
Brave New World Revisited Again
Free To Go