Neil Haverstick — If the Earth Was a Woman
((Not on label) no#, 2002, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2004-04-01Haverstick is a pioneering guitarist, known for his work in microtonal scales. The two previous releases we have reviewed in these pages — Acoustic Stick and Other Worlds — were each the fruit of singular visions, exploring microtonal registers on Haverstick's 34- and 19-tone electric and acoustic guitars in a completely instrumental format, with and without other musicians. If the Earth Was a Woman follows a number of different paths, perhaps representing Haverstick's wider musical interests. To be sure there are plenty of microtonal workouts here, acoustic and electric, plus several pieces featuring vocals and lyrics, explorations in rock, blues and country. "The Train" is a spoken piece with solo improv acoustic microtonal backing, which leads right into "Big Old Train," a country rocker that might recall the Grateful Dead around 1970 were it not for the strange and magical blistering microtonal guitar solo. One of the disc's standouts is the thoughtful and pointed "Sometimes It's Right (To Kill a Man)" which favors a sort of muted reggae styling with a solid bass groove, and features vocalist Mark Caldwell. "Microseconds" is a dark and heavy instrumental rock monster that drives along seemingly changing key at will, falling into free ambient improvisation and back again, creating one of the discs most eerie pieces — perhaps this is what King Crimson would sound like if all their frets were taken away! In all, this is Haverstick's calling card, exploring a number of new and different directions.
Related artist(s): Neil Haverstick (Stick Man)
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more