[Photos courtesy of Abby Nardo Photography]
After witnessing the majesty of drummer Jon Mueller’s new project Death Blues just two nights before at Glasslands in NYC, I was ready to witness the spectacle again on the bigger stage of Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lincoln Theater for the band’s Hopscotch Music Festival debut. While this set more or less mirrored the Glasslands show note for note, the bigger room gave the performance a different, more dramatic flavor. Mueller also felt that this recording (which was done by local taper Brian Claude) gave a better representation of the band’s difficult-to-capture upright bass. Death Blues is less a “band” in many respects than an interdisciplinary music project of Mueller’s; he teams with a variety of like-minded artists to produce music that is disconnected from pop convention. The ostensible focus of Death Blues is the inevitable approach of death, which comes across in the tone and evolution of the set. The music is dark, but transporting, with tribal, haunting vocals and guitars played like percussion instruments, all led by Mueller on the drums. Death being a large and complicated subject – too great for one piece of music – Mueller and his bandmates have posted additional writings and meditations on the topic on the project’s website.
Mueller has just released the sequence you will hear on this recording as Death Blues: The Album on his bandcamp page via Hometapes and Taiga Records, with vinyl to follow in January 2013. The record, like the band’s live performances, is revelatory. Give it a spin.
This set was recorded by NC-based taper Brian Claude with Avantone CK-1 microphones from the ideal spot in the Lincoln. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!
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Raleigh, NC USA
Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Brian Claude
Produced by acidjack
Avantone CK-1c>Edirol UA-5 [Busman]>Roland R-05>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (light EQ and tube effects)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 Death Blues
05 Iron String