cass mccombs – big wheel and others (side a)

i have chosen to tackle this over two nights. there are simply too many new songs across two sides to absorb in one night.

these are amazing stories, as always; occasionally impenetrable. initially, he sounds too distant. the tinny echo of his voice can be clearly articulated, but it sometimes verges on unsatisfying. it shifts.

there are parts of ethereal beauty, almost like sea & cake. there are some obvious cultural references in the music itself that i haven’t heard before in cass’ music. i love the burning of the temple, 2012 for it’s quite phenomenal blues. i like angel blood for it’s grounded slide guitar. there are places that really exist. i think perhaps my favourite song is joe murder, not so much for the lyrics but for the sounds (yes, even the sax). that might change on further listens. and i might finally have a decent new love song in there can be only one.

the number of gifts this guy gives is beyond comprehension. each song on this first disc carries its own weight. it is not too much. the depth and bass help push the roots down. there is no need for reverence to history when you can write and perform music this remarkable.

so, to tomorrow night, i feel a great sense of anticipation. will it be a whole? does it have to be? how do i really connect to this music? what does he actually sing about?


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